52512 ,‫בית הקרן, רח' התע"ש 01 רמת גן‬ Beit Hakeren, 10 Hata'as St. Ramat Gan 52512, Israel www.

israellawcenter.org
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Tel: 972-3-7514175 :‫טל‬ Fax: 972-3-7514174 :‫פקס‬ Tel (US): 212-591-0073

August 2, 2012 Andrew Sukawaty – Executive Chairman Rupert Pearce, Esq. – Director and Chief Executive Officer Rick Medlock – Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer John Rennocks – Deputy Chairman Alison Horrocks – Director, Senior Vice President and Secretary Sir Bryan Carsberg – Director Stephen Davidson – Director Admiral James Ellis Jr (Rtd) – Director Kathleen Flaherty – Director Janice Obuchowski – Director Rich Harris - Senior Vice President - Legal and Regulatory Affairs Inmarsat plc 99 City Road London EC1Y 1AX United Kingdom Via Fax: 44-20-7728-1142 Inmarsat Inc. 1101 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 1200 Washington DC 20036 Via Fax: 202-248-5177

Re:

Criminal and Civil Liability of Inmarsat and its Officers and Directors Relating to Vessels Owned by, Operated by, or Dedicated 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 Vice President, Rich Harris dated 30 July 2012 and various media statements in Inmarsat. Far from our allegations being without basis, Inmarsat’s responses and further investigations have confirmed that not only is Inmarsat supplying satellite communications services to large number of ships which are owned, operated or controlled by the Government of Iran, through the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRSIL), but it is knowingly participating in attempts to circumvent the US sanctions 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-run by supplying services via non-U.S. distributors as your letter suggests. Indeed Inmarsat’s attempts to circumvent the sanctions regime by providing services via non U.S. distributors constitute further breaches of U.S. law.

Inmarsat owns and/or operates numerous satellites which provide various telecommunications services to persons having appropriate equipment to send and receive 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 officers and 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 or indirectly supplying services to the Government of Iran (including any entity, such as IRISL, owned or controlled directly or indirectly by it). 31 C.F.R. § 535.206, which prohibits U.S. persons from engaging (including approving and facilitating) in any transaction or dealing related to the direct or indirect supply of services to the Government of Iran (including IRISIL). 31 C.F.R. § 535.208, which prohibits any U.S. person from approving, financing, facilitating or guaranteeing any transaction by a foreign person which a U.S. person would be prohibited from under the above provisions. Executive Order 13382 Section 1 (b), which prohibits any transaction or dealing in blocked property by a U.S. person or within the U.S., including provision of services to or for the benefit of a person (such as IRISL) whose property is blocked and the receipt of any contribution or funds from such a person. Executive Order 13382 Section 1 (c), which prohibits any transaction by a U.S. person or within the U.S. which has the purpose of evading or avoiding or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions in the Order.

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

In relation to the above breaches we note the following admissions from Inmarsat: a) in a July 26, 2012 interview, Inmarsat spokesman Christopher McLaughlin, in response to our letter, publicly admitted that “some of these ships nonetheless appear to be using older Inmarsat gear”. See http://www.spacenews.com/satellite_telecom/120727-inmarsat-israeli-groupspar.html a search of the Inmarsat website reveals that Inmarsat is providing satellite communications services, including advanced broadband services, to 27 ships on the OFAC list of blocked property of IRISL. 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 vessel on the list .... Such services may be provided by non-U.S. distributors in full compliance with U.S. and international law.”

b)

c)

Your letter also appears to assert that Inmarsat’s contractual obligation to provide safety communications services for all ships “without discrimination on the basis of nationality” overrides U.S. laws and Executive Orders which form the basis for the United States’ Iran sanctions regime. This is an inversion of the basic legal principle that laws of the sovereign override private contract. To the extent that

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Inmarsat’s obligations, contractual or international convention or customary international law conflict with U.S. law, they are void. The purpose of the inclusion of these Iranian vessels on the OFAC list is to prevent them from being able to sail. Withdrawal of the mandatory safety communications services which enable these ships to sail is an effective implementation of the OFAC sanctions regime. Your letter also mischaracterizes the circumstances of the cessation of Shurat HaDin’s legal proceedings against Inmarsat in relation to the second Gaza Flotilla. After Shurat HaDin filed its lawsuit against Inmarsat in Federal Court in Miami, the Mavi Marmara announced it was dropping out of the Flotilla because of technical problems. Shortly afterwards, and contrary to your claims, attorneys for Inmarsat were the ones that asked if Shurat HaDin would drop the lawsuit, as it was no longer necessary. Shurat HaDin complied and the suit was withdrawn without precedent. This did not mean that Inmarsat was not compliant in assisting the Gaza Flotilla boats that violated the US Neutrality Act and other US laws. We note that both U.S. Congress and President Obama are regularly introducing new and tougher sanctions on Iran and companies which assist them, including as recently as this week, and are closing loopholes as they are discovered. Recently a similar international organization, SWIFT, cut off Iran from its financial services in response to increasingly strict sanctions laws & regulations. As a listed public company, it if difficult to understand why Inmarsat would continue to risk criminal prosecution, civil claims and reputational damage as a sanctions evader for the very small commercial benefit supplying telecommunications services to the Iranian ships on the OFAC list. In light of the above, we renew the request in our July 25, 2012 letter that Inmarsat immediately ceases providing services to Iranian ships.

Very truly yours,

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq., Director Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center

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