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Intensified Sanctions Pressure On Iran

Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee hearing 'Addressing Potential Threats from Iran'. (file)

The U.S. is increasing sanctions pressure on Iran in response to its continued defiance of international nuclear obligations.

The United States is increasing sanctions pressure on Iran in response to the Iranian government’s continued defiance of its international nuclear obligations.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order that takes aim at Iran’s currency, its automotive industry and entities providing material support to the regime.

Intensified Sanctions Pressure On Iran
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In discussing the new measures at a congressional hearing, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said the provision targeting the rial means that as of July 1st, “The U.S. will be able to impose sanctions on any foreign financial institution that conducts significant transactions for the purchase or sale of rials or that holds accounts outside of Iran denominated in the rial:”

“This new measure is designed to make the rial essentially unusable in international transactions, place additional restrictions on Iran’s ability to access its foreign reserves, and isolate Iran even more from the international financial system and commercial markets.”

The U.S. is committed to enhancing sanctions pressure on the Iranian regime in ways that are both effective and implementable...
Mr. Cohen also explained in further detail the United States’ recent designation of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, or E-I-K-O, a network of 37 companies that manages businesses around the world and produces billions of dollars each year in profits for the Iranian regime – even as economic conditions deteriorate for the Iranian people:

“The purpose of this network, which is an agency of the Iranian government, is to generate and control massive off-the-books investments, shielded from the view of the Iranian people and international regulators. EIKO is also charged with assisting the Iranian government’s efforts to try to circumvent U.S. and international sanctions.”

Treasury Under Secretary Cohen said these actions are the latest “in what has been a steady drumbeat of activity targeting Iran over the last several years, and accelerating over the last several months. In this last month alone, we have sanctioned almost 50 additional entities for a range of illicit conduct, including human rights abuses, support for terrorism, proliferation activities, and attempts to evade sanctions.”

Mr. Cohen said the U.S. is committed to enhancing sanctions pressure on the Iranian regime in ways that are both effective and implementable, in order to sharpen the choice for the Iranian regime and induce it to change its calculus on its nuclear program.