December 12, 2013 | Quote
US Hits Firms for Iran Violations but Urges Congress Against More Sanctions
The US announced Thursday that it was penalising more than a dozen companies and individuals for conducting prohibited business with Iran, barely an hour before it implored Congress yet again not to enact any new sanctions on Tehran.
More than a dozen entities, from Ukraine to the Philippines, are now under economic penalties for dealing with Iran’s oil exports and illicit weapons programs. The Treasury Department’s sanctions chief, under-secretary David Cohen, said the new penalties show that economic pressure would continue on Iran even as negotiators spend the next six months attempting to finalise an accord to permanently stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“Today’s actions should be a stark reminder to businesses, banks and brokers everywhere that we will continue relentlessly to enforce our sanctions, even as we explore the possibility of a long-term, comprehensive resolution of our concerns with Iran’s nuclear program,” Cohen said.
“Even if Congress doesn’t pass sanctions before the end of the year, one can be confident Congress will be back in January, and this effort to pass new sanctions undoubtedly will continue to dominate the discussion,” said Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, one of the leading proponents of deepening the sanctions regime.