Washington: The US announced sanctions Tuesday against companies in Europe suspected of being fronts for the Iranian government used to evade sanctions and support its nuclear activities.
The US Treasury Department named 21 firms and banned Americans from engaging in business with them. Thirteen of the companies are in Europe, with nine being in Germany, two in Belarus, and one each in Luxembourg and Italy.
"As its isolation from the international financial and commercial systems increases, the government of Iran will continue its efforts to evade sanctions, including using government-owned entities around the world that are not easily identifiable as Iranian to facilitate transactions in support of their illicit activities," said Stuart Levey, the department undersecretary for financial intelligence.
The scope of the companies range from banking, insurance and investment, to mining and engineering industries. One of the companies was in Japan and the remainders are in Iran.
The two primary firms in Germany, IFIC Holding AG and Ascotec Holding GmbH, are based in Dusseldorf and control the other firms on the Treasury Department`s list. Others are located in Hamburg and Nettetal.