What do the State of the Union Address, the Congressional Baseball Game and tightening of sanctions on Iran have in common? They’ve all become regular traditions in the US Capitol.

Last month, the long arm of US sanctions against Iran grew even longer, applying to non-US companies and individuals worldwide and specifically singling out the maritime sector for restrictions.

While the latest measures bring tighter rules to the likes of shipowners and marine insurers, they are only the latest growth in the ever-evolving web of rules aimed at applying pressure to Iran over its nuclear programme.