The United States increased pressure on Iran with more sanctions aimed at disrupting Iran's nuclear program. Several companies and banks have also been identified as fronts for moving Iran's oil.
Thursday's announcement from the Treausry and State Department names 11 entities and four individuals involved in Iran's nuclear efforts. The entities or individuals named have been linked by the US to Iran's Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), the national maritime carrier (known as Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, or IRISL), and the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).
For example, Malek Ashtar University was designated for being owned or controlled by the MODAFL. The university created a missile training program in 2003, according to the Treasury, collaborating with AIO.
One of the individuals named was Daniel Frosch, who provided or attempted to provide material support for AIO through his company, International General Resourcing FZE, which is located in the United Arab Emirates.
The institutions and individuals named by the US have been designated under an executive order from 2005 that targets people, companies and financial institutions that are involved in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
“Iran today is under intense, multilateral sanctions pressure, and we will continue to ratchet up the pressure so long as Iran refuses to address the international community's well-founded concerns about its nuclear program,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.
“Today's actions are our next step on that path, taking direct aim at disrupting Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs as well as its deceptive efforts to use front companies to sell and move its oil,” Cohen said.
Front companies identified
The Treasury also identified companies, banks and vessels that work with Iran and assist with its oil industry.
Among the companies named as front companies for Iran's national oil companies are Petro Suisse Intertrade Company SA; Hong Kong Intertrade Company, Noor Energy of Malaysia, and Petro Energy Intertrade Company.
The National Iranian Tanker Company, 27 affiliates and 58 vessels were also identified as extensions of the state. This was to prevent Iran from renaming or reflagging vessels to evade sanctions.
The US and the European Union currently have an oil embargo in place against Iran. Before the EU embargo went into effect, the National Iranian Tanker Company changed the names and flags of several vessels to get around the ban.
mz/slk(AFP, Reuters, AP)