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Report: Sanctions not only option for Iran

Sept. 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Washington could contain Iran through the use of anti-corruption measures targeting companies doing business with Iran, analysts say.

Washington and its European allies advocated tough measures against Iran Friday following the revelation that Tehran was working at a previously undisclosed enrichment facility in the holy city of Qom.

With Russia and China holding up any U.N.-backed effort, however, Washington could adopt anti-corruption measures in an attempt to isolate Iran as punishment for its nuclear work, writes Michael Jacobson for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Jacobson points to the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as a useful tool to target corruption by foreign companies in Iran. He notes a $21 million settlement in 2006 between Norwegian energy giant Statoil and the U.S. government under the FCPA encouraged corporate transparency while discouraging business with Iran.

The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index of 2008 ranked Iran 141 out of the 180 countries listed, making Iran ripe for punitive measures under the FCPA, his report states.

Jacobson suggests that the U.S. government and its U.S. allies could find effective ways at containing Iran under the FCPA.

"In the end, companies may decide that compliance with anti-corruption laws is too difficult and costly to do business in Iran," he concludes.

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