1 May 2014
US blacklists foreign companies for evading restrictions on transactions with Iran
The New York Times reported that on Tuesday, the US blacklisted eight Chinese companies, a Dubai company and two Dubai executives for evading restrictions on transactions with Iran regarding weapons, oil and banking. The eight Chinese companies were used to conduct business with Iran by illicitly moving millions of dollars through US-based financial institutions. Additionally, the Dubai executives were accused of ‘shady and deceptive oil deals with Iran.’ This is the first significant enforcement of Iranian sanctions in three months and dispels the impression that relations between Iran and the US were beginning to normalise.
The last significant sanctions enforcement actions occurred in January and February of 2014. First, action was taken against Clearstream Banking, a Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Börse securities exchange, which violated Iranian sanctions by allowing Iran to evade restrictions regarding dealings with American banks. In addition, action was also taken against the Bank of Moscow for allegedly moving money through the American banking system illicitly for an Iranian bank, Bank Melli. These actions were announced after a temporary nuclear accord between the US and Iran occurred and were intended to show that sanctions against Iran were not yet unraveling.