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US Slaps Sanctions on Iranian Bank

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, Feb 18 (ICANA) – The US Treasury Department has imposed unilateral sanctions on an Iranian bank over its financial support of the Islamic Republic's Defense Ministry.
Friday, February 18, 2011 11:50:51 AM

The US Treasury Department on Thursday slapped sanctions on Iran's Bank Refah on charges of providing financial support for the country's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA).

“Bank Refah…facilitated payments from HESA to businesses and individuals linked to Iran's weapons-related procurement," the Treasury Department said in a statement.

On Tuesday, a group of US senators proposed a new bill aimed at imposing further unilateral economic sanctions on Iran by urging the companies trading on the United States exchanges to reveal their investment being made in the Islamic Republic.

"If we can bring greater transparency to any investment being made in Iran, we can defund the nuclear militarization of one of the world's most hostile nations," Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.

Earlier this month, the US also imposed sanctions against six individuals and five companies located in Iran and Turkey for allegedly providing materials and support for Iran's ballistic missile development projects.

The measures prohibit transaction between the said companies and individuals and US entities, and freezes any assets they may have under US jurisdiction.

In October 2010, Washington blacklisted 37 Iranian "front companies" based in Germany, Malta and Cyprus, which were allegedly owned or controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRSL).

The UN Security Council adopted a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran in June 2010 under intense US pressure, which claims Iran's nuclear program may have potential military applications.

Shortly after the UN sanctions, the US imposed fresh unilateral sanctions on Iran's financial and energy sectors, encouraging other countries to abandon investment in the Iranian market.

Iran says that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has a right to use the peaceful applications of nuclear energy for electricity generation and medical research.

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