Washington and Brussels adopt new Iran sanctions
(WJC)–The US government has announced new unilateral sanctions against Iran, targeting banks, shippers and the Revolutionary Guard. Washington said the individuals and institutions targeted were helping Iran to develop its nuclear program. Those blacklisted include Iran’s Post Bank, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi – who is wanted by Interpol in connection with the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires – and the air force and missile command of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
The measures prohibit any American business or individual from trading with those named on the blacklist. Any assets they may have under US jurisdiction are also frozen. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the US would in the coming weeks be coordinating with other governments to put further pressure on Iran and enhance trade restrictions. “We will continue to target Iran’s support for terrorist organizations, we will continue to focus on the Revolutionary Guard, and we will continue to expose Iran’s efforts to evade international sanctions,” he told a news briefing at the White House.
Also on the list of targeted organizations is a front company for the national shipping line, which is run by the Revolutionary Guard. The Treasury has designated 27 new ships and updated entries for 71 others whose names have been changed. The designation of Iran’s Post Bank brings to 16 the total number of Iranian banks subject to sanctions. The Treasury Department said Post Bank was a front for Bank Sepah, which was designated in 2007 for providing financial services to the Iranian missile industry.
The 27 heads of state and government of the European Union are also set to approve a sanctions package. At their meeting in Brussels on Thursday, they are expected to pass sanctions that go beyond those adopted by the UN Security Council last week, also targeting the oil and gas industry. Although European countries such as Germany and Italy are important trading partners for Iran, the EU is becoming increasingly concerned that Iran may be pursuing nuclear weapons.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.