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More Pressure On Iran


More Pressure On Iran
The United States Department of Treasury has designated five additional Iranian entities for their ties to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. The designation means that all transactions between these Iranian organizations and U.S. citizens are prohibited, and any assets the organizations may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

The five entities are the Nuclear Research Center for Agriculture and Medicine, the Esfahan Nuclear Fuel Research and Production Center, Jabber Ibn Hayan, Safety Equipment Procurement Company, and Joza Industrial Company.

Stuart Levey is the Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. He said in a statement that these five entities “have been used by Iran to hide its illicit conduct and further its dangerous nuclear ambitions.” He also said that “responsible financial institutions and businesses worldwide are taking steps to avoid doing business with Iranian nuclear and missile entities as well as with front companies ... the regime uses to disguise its activities.”

Earlier this month, the European Union announced expanded sanctions on Iran, after Iran failed to respond positively to a package of incentives offered it by Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S. and Germany –- the P-5+ 1 –- if Iran suspended its nuclear activities. The EU called on member states to exercise restraint in providing financial support for trade with Iran, and it urged states to exercise vigilance regarding Iranian financial institutions. The EU also voted to allow its members to inspect Iran-bound cargo for contraband.

The list of companies that are backing away from doing business in Iran also continues to grow. Norway’s state controlled StatoilHydro has announced that it will not make any new investments in Iran and will begin reducing its involvement in the South Pars gas project. Similar decisions were made earlier by Total of France and Royal Dutch Shell.

In addition, Iran is facing the possibility of a fourth UN Security Council resolution, since the regime has not complied with Security Council requirements that it stop its uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the UN sanctions, the additional financial measures taken by the U.S. and other countries, and the reluctance of companies to do business with Iran because of investment and reputational risk are taking a toll on Iran’s economy. “You have to hope,” said Secretary of State Rice, “that there are reasonable people in Iran who see this as not the way to run a country.”
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