US hits Iran-linked firms in Switzerland, Isle of Man
– Tue Nov 30
US hits Iran-linked firms in Switzerland, Isle of Man AFP/File – A signboard of Bank Mellat, an Iranian state-run commercial bank, is seen outside its Seoul branch on …
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Treasury Department on Tuesday announced sanctions against 10 businesses linked to Iranian weapons programs, including eight on the Isle of Man, one in Switzerland and one in Malaysia.
The firms are affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and Bank Mellat -- which have already been targeted for their role in aiding Iran's weapons of mass destruction programs.
"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 US and international sanctions," said US sanctions czar Stuart Levey.
On the Isle of Man -- an island nestled between Britain and Ireland -- the firms targeted were shipping companies said to be fronts for the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.
Nearly 80 of firms have been sanctioned for their links with the Iranian shipping line, which is accused of carrying proscribed military cargoes.
Also sanctioned were Pearl Energy Company and a Switzerland-based subsidiary, who were accused of helping "provide financing and expertise to entities seeking to enter Iran's petroleum sector."
Both were linked to Bank Mellat, which in turn has been linked to helping finance Iran's nuclear program.
Five individuals were also sanctioned.