US sanctions Iranians by name | world | Hindustan Times
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US sanctions Iranians by name

The Obama administration ratcheted up pressure against Iran on Tuesday, identifying senior officials that it said had aided terrorist groups, including the Taliban in Afghanistan, and naming 21 businesses that it said were secretly owned or controlled by the Islamic republic.

world Updated: Aug 04, 2010 22:54 IST

The Obama administration ratcheted up pressure against Iran on Tuesday, identifying senior officials that it said had aided terrorist groups, including the Taliban in Afghanistan, and naming 21 businesses that it said were secretly owned or controlled by the Islamic republic.

The moves exemplify the administration’s push to organize tougher sanctions against Iran in an effort to force the country to abandon what the West suspects is an attempt to build an atomic bomb. Iran says its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful, but has rejected White House entreaties to discuss the program.

Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Treasury sought to thwart Iran’s support of terrorist groups and to warn US companies to avoid doing business with banks, investment houses, mining companies and engineering firms that have hidden ties with Iran.

“As its isolation from the international financial and commercial systems increases, the government of Iran will continue efforts to evade sanctions, including using government-owned entities around the world that are not easily identifiable as Iranian to facilitate transactions in support of their illicit activities,” Levey said.

The companies unmasked on Tuesday were said to operate in Belarus, Germany, Italy, Japan and Luxembourg, as well as Iran, and their names include Ascotec Japan, Breyeller Stahl Technology, IFIC Holding AG and Onerbank Zao.

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