Wärtsilä under fire in US over Iran links

19 Dec 2012
Wärtsilä CEO Björn Rosengren – under US pressure to explain the company’s alleged links with the Iranian regime

Wärtsilä CEO Björn Rosengren – under US pressure to explain the company’s alleged links with the Iranian regime

UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran, a US-based organisation that seeks to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapons capability) has called on Wärtsilä to end its, according to UANI, “irresponsible” business activities.

UANI says that Wärtsilä, through its agents and licensees, provides technology and marine diesel engines to Chinese shipbuilders that are currently building oil tankers for the Iranian regime. It says that: “Wärtsilä’s activities are of particular concern given that the international community is attempting to isolate Iran via its shipping industry, and new tankers greatly assist the regime in attempting to overcome such efforts.”

In a letter to Wärtsilä President & CEO, Björn Rosengren, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote: “Earlier this year, UANI launched its Shipping Campaign to compel international shippers, classification societies, P&I clubs and governments worldwide to cease their [Iran] business…In response to UANI’s campaign, members of the International Association of Classification Societies…ceased their classification of Iranian vessels.

“Despite these positive developments, a few irresponsible entities continue to provide valuable expertise, services and investment to the Iranian regime. For example, Wärtsilä has reportedly supplied engines for IRISL vessels, and stated that it maintains an agent in Iran to handle future business with power plant and shipbuilding clients.”

The letter mentions Wärtsilä’s involvement in 12 VLCCs being built in China for NITC. It says: “Put simply, Wärtsilä is assisting the Iranian regime’s development of its most lucrative economic sector, the revenues from which go directly to fund the regime’s nefarious activities, including its nuclear program. In addition, Wärtsilä’s business in Iran includes a partnership with the Iran Heavy Diesel Engine Mfg Co... Wärtsilä’s apparent partnership with DESA is clearly unacceptable.”

Wärtsilä has been requested to reply to the letter by 21 December, making its intentions clear with respect to its dealings with Iran.

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