U.S. tightens Iran sanctions

July 12, 2012 at 4:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. government said Thursday it was imposing additional sanctions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation networks.

A statement by the U.S. Treasury said it and the State Department are designating 11 entities and four individuals under a presidential executive order. The statement said many of the individuals and entities designated Thursday "are part of a network of proliferators headed by Iran's Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics ... and its subsidiary, Aerospace Industries Organization. ... A number of additional designations are related to Iran's national maritime carrier, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines ... and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ..., both of which have been the target of a numerous sanctions actions by the United States and our partners around the world."

Treasury said it was taking additional steps to prevent evasion of sanctions by publicly identifying a group of Iranian front companies and banks.

The statement named four "front companies" for the Naftiran Intertrade Co., NICO, or the National Iranian Oil Co., NIOC: Petro Suisse Intertrade Co. SA; Hong Kong Intertrade Co.; Noor Energy (Malaysia) Ltd., and Petro Energy Intertrade Co.

NICO intended to use Petro Energy Intertrade to evade Western sanctions, the Treasury Department said. Both NICO and NIOC are centrally involved in the sale of Iranian oil, in 2008 as entities that are owned or controlled by the government of Iran.

The Treasury Department also identified the National Iranian Tanker Co., NITC, as a government of Iran entity and, for the first time, the NITC fleet and various front companies belonging to NITC. In addition, the Treasury Department identified 20 Iranian financial institutions for inclusion on its List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.

The department statement said the identifications "highlight Iran's attempts to evade sanctions through the use of front companies, as well as its attempts to conceal its tanker fleet by repainting, reflagging or disabling GPS devices."

U.S. persons or entities may not legally deal with those designated for sanctions.

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