TEHRAN, July 19 (UPI) -- The Iranian government will provide insurance coverage for foreign ships entering its territorial waters, the managing director of the port authority said.
EU sanctions that went into force July 1 prohibit European companies from providing insurance for ships carrying Iranian crude oil.
Ataollah Sadr, director of Iran's ports and maritime organization, said the Iranian government would cover vessels traveling in Iranian waters.
"Any foreign shipping line and any foreign ship that enters Iran's waters, the Islamic Republic of Iran takes the responsibility for its insurance coverage," he told the semiofficial Fars News Agency.
Washington last week announced it imposed additional sanctions on Iran's proliferation networks and front companies used to evade sanctions on the country's energy sector.
Iran ranks among the top in terms of oil reserves among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The government, in response to tightening sanctions, has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a conduit for about 20 percent of the world's maritime oil shipments.
Sadr added that sanctions, which he described as an "enemy trick," were defused by countermeasures adopted by the Iranian government.