U.S. targets Iranian weapons proliferators

Nov. 30, 2010 at 3:06 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Five corporate officers and 10 businesses affiliated with an alleged Iranian program of weapons of mass destruction were sanctioned, Washington said Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Treasury announced it designated Pearl Energy Co. in Malaysia and front companies tied to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines as active in the alleged proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Treasury Department accuses Pearl Energy of operating in conjunction with Iran's Bank Mellat to provide financial support to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Washington believes Iran's nuclear program is cover for weapons-related activity.

The shipping service, meanwhile, is accused of providing logistical service to the Iranian military to help develop a ballistic missile program, the Treasury Department said.

Stuart Levey, U.S. undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Washington will continue to counteract Iran's attempts to evade its obligations to the international community.

"Today's actions will help governments, banks and other private companies around the world ensure that they do not inadvertently facilitate Iran's proliferation and support for terrorism," he said in a statement.

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