Manx Government Pressed Again On Iran Shipping Issue



The Celtic League has once again written to the Isle of Man Chief Ministerasking about Manx flagged vessels being involved in possible breaches of UN sanctions.

The Chief Minister had previously assured the Celtic League that no breaches had occurred however new information passed to the League indicates a Manx flagged vessel was involved in the transhipment of a vast quantity of arms to a vessel (the `Francop’) subsequently intercepted by the Israeli Defence Forces. The text of the correspondence to the Chief Minister is set out below:

“Dear Chief Minister,

I write further to our correspondence of the 28th of August and your subsequent reply.

New information has come to light which suggests that Manx flagged vessels may have been involved in the shipment of weapons by the government of Iran.

We have been advised that in November 2009 a Manx flagged vessel transhipped a consignment of arms destined for Hezbollah to another vessel the `Francop’ which was subsequently intercepted by the Israeli Defence Forces.

Arms shipments of this type if facilitated by Manx registered vessels would seem to be in breach of UN Security Council resolution 1747 section 5 (text below):

“Decides that Iran shall not supply, sell or transfer directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft any arms or related materiel, and that all States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in the territory of Iran;”

In addition, UN Security Council Resolution 1803 from March 2008 also requested countries to inspect suspect cargoes to and from Iran. This was reiterated by this summer’s UN Security Council Resolution 1929 and EU Sanctions on Iran.

Given that in your reply you say:

`The Isle of Man is aware of the existence of ships owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping line (IRISL) which are owned by Isle of Man

Have any checks ever been undertaken to ensure that Manx flagged vessels owned or operated by IRISL have not carried illicit cargoes such as that transhipped to the `Francop’.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt
Director of Information”

You tube video on the `Francop’ arms shipment here:

Related articles on Celtic News here:

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

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