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More companies blacklisted for alleged Iran links

Four more Manx shipping companies have been blacklisted by the United States Treasury, which is alleging they are fronts for Iran.

Loweswater, Mill Dene, Shallon and Springthorpe are all limited companies based at Manning House in Bucks Road, Douglas.

They were all set up on March 2, 2009 and, according to the Isle of Man Companies Registry, their registered agent has resigned, all four are in default and a notice to strike off has been issued.

The American government says they are all either controlled or owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines company, and they share their address with firms which have previously been placed on the Department of the Treasury's sanction list.

The latest moves come after eight companies were blacklisted last year for alleged links with Iran. At least one of them, Shallon, is part of a network set up with the help of Ramsey Commissioner and shipping consultant Nigel Malpass, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Last year, Chief Minister Tony Brown told Tynwald no Island laws or sanctions had been broken.

In a statement, the US Treasury said it was placing the companies on the list because of their involvement with Iran Shipping Lines, which it accused of being involved in the Middle Eastern country's missile programs. It said it aimed to isolate companies involved in proliferating weapons of mass destruction from America's financial and commercial systems.

Manx Radio contacted Mr Malpass for an interview, but he declined, saying he was no longer a director of the companies involved and hadn't been for a long time.

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