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Satnews Daily
July 29th, 2012

Inmarsat... In Response To Shurat HaDin's (Israel Law Center) Letter Regarding Iranian Maritime Vessel Equips...

[SatNews] Chris McLaughlin, the Vice President of External Affairs, has responded to the posted letter from Shurat HaDin (see Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center... A Warning Letter Has Been Sent To Inmarsat...) posted in yesterday's and today's SatNews releases. He wrote,

"“Inmarsat” (Inmarsat plc, Inmarsat Global Ltd. and Inmarsat Inc.) seek to comply with all applicable sanctions laws and regulations. Inmarsat does not sell telecommunications services to any Iranian entity, or to any entity on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control list of Specially Designated Nationals.

"This is the second time that Inmarsat has been accused of wrong-doing by Shurat HaDin. Last year, the lobby group contended in a U.S. law suit that Inmarsat was violating US law by allegedly supplying telecommunications services to ships that allegedly were connected with Hamas.

"Inmarsat pointed out the legal and factual difficulties in their case, and Shurat HaDin dismissed their case, before Inmarsat even had to respond formally on the merits. Inmarsat was founded in 1979 as the International Maritime Satellite Organization, a non-profit, intergovernmental organization established by United Nations Convention to provide maritime communications for distress and safety of life at sea communications. The Convention required Inmarsat to make its services available for the “benefit of ships of all nations.”

"In 1999, the intergovernmental organization was privatized, creating Inmarsat plc. As a condition to its privatization, Inmarsat was required to continue its 'public service obligations' to 'ensure the continuity of maritime satellite distress and safety communications services' for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (“GMDSS”) established by the U.N. (See Public Services Agreement Between the International Mobile Satellite Organization, Inmarsat One LTD and Inmarsat Two Company, § 2.1.1. Inmarsat was again required to provide safety communications services for all ships “without discrimination on the basis of nationality.” Id. § 2.2. In turn, all cargo and passenger ships above a certain tonnage must carry a terminal for GMDSS. Inmarsat is the sole satellite provider of GMDSS.

Chris McLaughlin
Vice President, External Affairs