Jan 30, 2016, 11:50 AM
News Code: 81941102
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Iran container ships set for Europe after five years

Tehran, Jan 30, IRNA - Iran’s biggest shipping line hopes to start calling again at European ports, with plans for a biweekly service connecting India, Iran and Europe as early as next month, according to people familiar with the matter.

The service would be the first time in five years that ships from the company, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, would tie up at European ports. The plan comes just two weeks after the lifting of broad economic sanctions against Iran, part of an international deal to impose limits on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear activities, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Since sanctions have lifted, Iranian officials have announced a host of deals with European companies, including an agreement earlier this week to buy Airbus Group SE jetliners.

Iran borders the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to the south and the Caspian Sea to the north. It has long been a power in the global shipping industry. The country’s tanker-ship operator boasts the world’s largest tanker fleet by capacity.

IRISL or one of its subsidiaries plans to start a regular service shipping 6,000 containers along a route that would include stops at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf, Nhava Sheva in India, Istanbul, and European ports, including Felixstowe, UK, Genoa, Italy, and Le Havre, France, according to one person familiar with the plans.

Executives hope the sailings will be the first step in an ambitious plan by the Iranian company to win a slice of the global container-shipping market. The company is also contemplating purchases of giant Triple E container vessels, the largest class of container ships in the world.