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Shurat HaDin's August 2 2012 Letter to Inmarsat

Shurat HaDin's August 2 2012 Letter to Inmarsat

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center on Aug 02, 2012
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08/02/2012

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,'"10 ,52512 
Beit Hakeren, 10 Hata'as St. Ramat Gan52512, Israel
 
www.israellawcenter.org
_______ __________________ _____________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________  
:972-3-7514175
Tel:
 :972-3-7514174
Fax:
 212-591-0073
Tel (US):
August 2, 2012Andrew Sukawaty – Executive ChairmanRupert Pearce, Esq. – Director and Chief Executive OfficerRick Medlock – Executive Director and Chief Financial OfficerJohn Rennocks – Deputy ChairmanAlison Horrocks – Director, Senior Vice President and SecretarySir Bryan Carsberg – DirectorStephen Davidson – DirectorAdmiral James Ellis Jr (Rtd) – DirectorKathleen Flaherty – DirectorJanice Obuchowski – DirectorRich Harris - Senior Vice President - Legal and Regulatory AffairsInmarsat plc Inmarsat Inc.99 City Road 1101 Connecticut Avenue, NWLondon EC1Y 1AX Suite 1200United Kingdom Washington DC 20036Via Fax: 44-20-7728-1142 Via Fax: 202-248-5177Re:
Criminal and Civil Liability of Inmarsat and its Officers andDirectors Relating to Vessels Owned by, Operated by, orDedicated to the Aid of The Islamic Republic of Iran
Dear Sir or Madam,I refer to our letter to you of July 25, 2012, the response of your Senior VicePresident, Rich Harris dated 30 July 2012 and various media statements in Inmarsat.Far from our allegations being without basis, Inmarsat’s responses and furtherinvestigations have confirmed that not only is Inmarsat supplying satellitecommunications services to large number of ships which are owned, operated orcontrolled by the Government of Iran, through the Islamic Republic of Iran ShippingLine (IRSIL), but it is knowingly participating in attempts to circumvent the USsanctions regime against Iran.The U.S. sanctions regime against Iran does not merely prohibit the direct
sale
 of telecommunications services to Iran or IRSIL vessels, nor is it able to be end-runby supplying services via non-U.S. distributors as your letter suggests. IndeedInmarsat’s attempts to circumvent the sanctions regime by providing services via nonU.S. distributors constitute further breaches of U.S. law.
 
 
-2-  Inmarsat owns and/or operates numerous satellites which provide varioustelecommunications services to persons having appropriate equipment to send andreceive signals from such satellites. If those satellites are used to provide services to,or for the benefit of, any sanctioned Iranian entity or vessel, Inmarsat and its officersand directors who are U.S. persons or are located in the U.S. breach multiple U.S.laws, regulations and Presidential Executive Orders.These include:(a)
 
31 C.F.R. § 535.204, which prohibits any U.S. person from directly orindirectly supplying services to the Government of Iran (including any entity,such as IRISL, owned or controlled directly or indirectly by it).(b)
 
31 C.F.R. § 535.206, which prohibits U.S. persons from engaging (includingapproving and facilitating) in any transaction or dealing related to the direct orindirect supply of services to the Government of Iran (including IRISIL).(c)
 
31 C.F.R. § 535.208, which prohibits any U.S. person from approving,financing, facilitating or guaranteeing any transaction by a foreign personwhich a U.S. person would be prohibited from under the above provisions.(d)
 
Executive Order 13382 Section 1 (b), which prohibits any transaction ordealing in blocked property by a U.S. person or within the U.S., includingprovision of services to or for the benefit of a person (such as IRISL) whoseproperty is blocked and the receipt of any contribution or funds from such aperson.(e)
 
Executive Order 13382 Section 1 (c), which prohibits any transaction by aU.S. person or within the U.S. which has the purpose of evading or avoidingor attempts to violate any of the prohibitions in the Order.In relation to the above breaches we note the following admissions fromInmarsat:a)
 
in a July 26, 2012 interview, Inmarsat spokesman Christopher McLaughlin, inresponse to our letter, publicly admitted that “some of these ships nonethelessappear to be using older Inmarsat gear”. Seehttp://www.spacenews.com/satellite_telecom/120727-inmarsat-israeli-group-spar.html b)
 
a search of the Inmarsat website reveals that Inmarsat is providing satellitecommunications services, including advanced broadband services, to 27 shipson the OFAC list of blocked property of IRISL.c)
 
the statement in your July 30, 2012 letter: “In addition to Inmarsat, no U.S.distributor sells Inmarsat satellite services to any Iranian entity or to any vesselon the list .... Such services may be provided by non-U.S. distributors in fullcompliance with U.S. and international law.”Your letter also appears to assert that Inmarsat’s contractual obligation toprovide safety communications services for all ships “without discrimination on thebasis of nationality” overrides U.S. laws and Executive Orders which form the basisfor the United States’ Iran sanctions regime. This is an inversion of the basic legalprinciple that laws of the sovereign override private contract. To the extent that

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