Tags: US | Iran Sanctions

US Hits Iran Air, Port Company with Sanctions

Thursday, 23 Jun 2011 05:16 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration hit two pillars of the Iranian economy with sanctions Thursday, targeting the Islamic republic's national airline carrier and a major port company on charges that they facilitate illegal weapons trade and help the mighty Revolutionary Guard corps in destabilizing activity in Iran and nearby countries.

The Treasury Department's action blocks any assets in the United States belonging to Iran Air, Tidewater Middle East Co. and three other firms. It also prevents Americans from doing business with them.

In a joint statement, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the hardline Revolutionary Guard's use of Tidewater and Iran Air for proliferation activities was indicative of its increasing power in the Iranian economy. This displaces legitimate private Iranian companies in the commercial and energy sectors, which they called "deeply troubling."

The Revolutionary Guard serves as the "enforcer" for the Iranian regime by suppressing peaceful protests, and imports and exports weapons for the government, the secretaries said. They also blamed it for supporting terrorism in the Middle East.

The other companies sanctioned were the Mehr-e Eqtesad-e Iranian Investment Company, Iran Air Tours and the Behnam Shahriyari Trading Company. Iranian businessman Behnam Shahriyari was personally targeted for his alleged role in providing weapons to the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Although the sanctions only apply to the United States, senior Treasury and State Department officials said they hoped other countries would take a closer look at business being conducted with the companies. The U.S. is hoping authorities will halt the refueling of Iran Air planes, though non-U.S. airports are not required to take any action against the company, the officials said.

The Treasury Department says Iran Air has helped the military obtain raw materials such as titanium sheets, which can be used in support of advancing nuclear weapons. It has also transported rockets on passenger planes and taken missile components to Syria, Treasury alleges.

The airline operates about 40 aircraft flying to 35 international destinations.

The statement from Geithner and Clinton said preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a top U.S. priority. They said they remain deeply concerned about Iran's uranium enrichment program, even if the Iranian government insists it is solely designed for energy purposes.

"The international community must continue to increase and broaden the scope of pressures on Iran," the two secretaries said. "We have made important progress in isolating Iran, but we cannot waver. Our efforts must be unrelenting to sharpen the choice for Iran's leaders to abandon their dangerous course."

Tidewater manages seven ports in Iran and serves as a key element in Iran's infrastructure and transport network. Treasury says it has operations at terminals that have facilitated the Iranian government's weapons trade.

The company has no relation to Tidewater Inc., an international shipping company based in the United States.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Top Colorado Court Halts Gay Marriages in Boulder

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 18:56 PM

Boulder County must stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while the Colorado Supreme Court considers an appeal f . . .

Last Crew Member of Enola Gay Dies in Georgia

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 18:54 PM

The last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hastening the end of World War II and fo . . .

Fresno School Slammed for Hiring White Teacher for Cultural Studies

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 16:25 PM

A flap over whether a white teacher should lead a class on African-American, Latino, and Southeast Asian cultural studie . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved