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More Sanctions For Iran

For the fourth time in a year, the Financial Action Task Force has issued a statement warning against the threat to the international financial system posed by Iran's lack of adequate legal controls over money laundering and terrorism finance.

FATF, as the agency is called, is a 34-member inter-governmental organization devoted to combating money laundering and terrorist financing. It said that Iran's lack of effort in addressing the risk of terrorist financing "continues to pose a serious threat to the integrity of the international financial system." FATF said that urgent action on this threat is required, and called on states to strengthen preventive measures to protect their financial sectors from the risk posed by Iran.

On October 15, the government of Australia imposed financial and travel sanctions on individuals and entities involved in Iran's nuclear missile programs, including freezing the assets of 2 of Iran's biggest banks: Bank Melli and Bank Saderat. US Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey applauded the measures taken by Australia. These measures, he said in a statement, are consistent with the guidance from the Financial Action Task Force, as well as with United Nations Security Council resolutions calling on member states to exercise vigilance over activities between their financial institutions and Iranian banks.

On October 23, the U.S. designated the Export Development Bank of Iran, known as EDBI, and 3 enterprises controlled by EDBI, as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. The designation freezes any assets under U.S. jurisdiction and bans Americans from all transactions with these entities. In a separate move, the U.S. announced additional sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, as well as on 12 foreign companies for illegal trade with Iran, Syria and North Korea in missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey said, "Iran's leaders are inflicting hardship on the Iranian people rather than allowing them the opportunities and prosperity that reintegration into the global community would bring."