Maersk Line suspended operations Thursday at three Iranian ports to comply with U.S. sanctions.
Maersk said it will "cease acceptance of business” to and from the ports of Bandar Abbas, Bandar Khomeini and Asaluyeh.
The U.S. last week blacklisted Tidewater Middle East, operator of the three ports, and banned U.S. firms from doing any business with the company, which handles an estimated 90 percent of the country’s container traffic.
Bandar Abbas handled 2.6 million 20-foot equivalent units in 2010, according to Tidewater.
Washington suspects Tidewater is controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
“We have a comprehensive compliance program in place and continue to take all actions necessary to comply with all U.S. and EU trade regulations,” said Maersk Line Chief Operating Officer Morten Engelstoft.
Maersk did not say how much cargo will be affected by its decision but said it will not have a material impact on its quarterly earnings.
Other ocean carriers are expected to halt operations in the three Iranian ports following the tightening of U.S. sanctions.