Iranian Shipping Company Charged With Conspiracy in New York

Prosecutors in New York City say an Iranian government-owned shipping company has evaded U.S. sanctions by setting up shell companies and funneling millions of dollars through American banks.

The New York Times reports that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is announcing a 317-count indictment Monday against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, known as Irisl, and 15 other defendants.

They are charged with a conspiracy to set up shell companies in Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom to trick New York banks into sending and receiving more than $60 million worth of payments.

The Times says the transactions have been integral to Iran's efforts to obtain banned technology for its nuclear and missile programs.

Officials at Irisl did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.