Washington: The US on Thursday slapped sanctions against a number of international companies and individuals for evading sanctions against Iran and for providing support for its contentious nuclear programme.
"As the US and our partners in the P5+1 explore the possibility of a long-term, comprehensive resolution with Iran that would provide confidence that Iran`s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful, we remain committed to vigorously enforcing our sanctions regime and to exposing the Government of Iran`s (GOI) efforts to use deceptive practices and front companies to further its nuclear programme," the Department of Treasury said.
"The Joint Plan of Action reached in Geneva does not, and will not, interfere with our continued efforts to expose and disrupt those supporting Iran`s nuclear programme or seeking to evade our sanctions.
"These sanctions have isolated Iran from the international financial system, imposed enormous pressure on the Iranian economy, and motivated the Iranian leadership to make the first meaningful concessions on its nuclear programme in over a decade," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S Cohen.
The US and five other world powers recently signed a deal with Iran that is aimed at halting any progress by Tehran toward 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 programme," he said.
These designations target entities and individuals involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materiel and attempts to evade international sanctions against Iran.
The conduct of these entities and individuals demonstrates Iran`s extensive efforts to conceal its evasive activities by using front companies in foreign countries to deceive foreign suppliers to support its illicit proliferation and evasion activities, the Treasury said.
"Today`s actions generally prohibit transactions between the designees and any US person, and freeze any assets they may currently have or that come under US jurisdiction," the Treasury said.
In addition, any foreign financial institution or person that facilitates significant transactions or provides material support to the designated entities may have their access to the US financial system severed and/or their property under US jurisdiction blocked, it said.
The American actions target several companies and individuals who engaged in transactions on behalf of previously-designated National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), Iran`s primary shipper of crude oil, and previously identified KASB International, and also target the General Manager of Ferland Company Limited, which was identified earlier this year as a sanctions evader.
They also identify a number of NITC vessels that have changed their flagging jurisdiction or names.