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Treasury designates Iranian bank

May 17, 2011 at 5:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department designated an Iranian state-owned bank for helping Iran in its weapons of mass destruction proliferation activities.

The Bank of Industry and Mine was designated because it was used by the Iranian government to evade U.S. and international sanctions against Iranian financial institutions involved in facilitating transactions that support Iran's WMD proliferation activities, the Treasury Department said in a release.

The designation pursuant to executive order 13382 is aimed at freezing the assets of WMD proliferators and their supporters to isolate them from the U.S. financial and commercial systems, the department said.

"Iran has a well-established practice of migrating illicit financial activities from one bank to another to facilitate transactions for sanctioned banks," said David Cohen, acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. "The sophisticated nature of this scheme illustrates the disruptive impact of sanctions on Iran's efforts to sustain its proliferation activities."

The Bank of Industry and Mine is the 21st Iranian state-owned bank designated by the Treasury Department, officials said.

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