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Thursday, December 02, 2010

US sanctions Iran's shipping lines

On the same day that the announcement was made that the EU will have a 'negotiating session' with Iran next Monday and Tuesday in Geneva, the United States announced that it is sanctioning eight companies that serve as fronts for Iran's shipping company.
Late Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department cited five Iranian corporate officials and 10 businesses as having ties to either Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines or Bank Mellat, which the U.S. had previously blacklisted, alleging they support Iran’s nuclear and military programs.

The companies included a Malaysian-based firm and what the U.S. described as eight front companies for Iran’s state-owned shipping firm. The U.S. also named and described a group of Iranian officials with ties to the entities. United Nations, U.S. and European regulations bar dealings with any company tied to Iran’s nuclear or weapons program.

“As long as Iran uses front companies, cut-outs and other forms of deception to hide its illicit activities, we intend to expose this conduct and thereby counteract Iran’s attempts to evade U.S. and international sanctions,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Stuart Levey said in a news release.
If we can come up with a few more computer worms like Stuxnet, maybe there's a small chance that sanctions could work. But I doubt it. The sanctions are hurting Iran, but that doesn't seem to make Iran more inclined to give up their nuclear program.

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