(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Washington, DC – The US Treasury Department updated its sanctions blacklist yesterday as a first step in implementing the recently passed fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran. The blacklist targets groups and entities working with or supporting Iran’s nuclear or missile programs, as well as its energy sector and leaders of the Revolutionary Guards.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner explained “Our actions today are designed to deter other governments and foreign financial institutions from dealing with these entities and thereby supporting Iran’s illicit activities.” The measure targets Iranian banks, front companies, ships, several individuals and entities associated with the IRGC, as well as petroleum, energy, and insurance companies inside and outside of Iran belonging to the Iranian government.
US officials say the move will be accompanied by measures against Iran by US allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. “To be truly effective in ending Iran’s proliferation activities and Iran’s support for terrorism, we need to have in place a concerted, international approach,” Tim Geithner said. “We have been working behind the scenes building support among finance ministries. We expect to see additional actions announced by other governments soon.”
The move bars US entities from doing business with the designated Iranian groups and individuals and is aimed at discouraging other countries from doing the same. California Democrat Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lauded the Treasury’s announcement, saying the new sanctions would go a long way in “persuading Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program.”
The sanctions are part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to put pressure on the Iranian government. “In the coming weeks we will continue to increase the financial pressure,” Secretary Geithner said.”We will continue to target Iran’s support for terrorist organizations.”