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US targets firms, individuals evading sanctions against Iran

Friday, 7 February 2014 - 9:02am IST | Agency: IANS

The US Treasury Department Thursday announced actions targeting a number of companies and individuals around the world for evading US sanctions against Iran.

With the move, the US freezes the assets of the designated sanction-evaders under US jurisdiction and bans American citizens from carrying out transactions with them, Xinhua quoted the Treasury Department as saying in a statement.

The targeted companies and individuals are operating in Turkey, Spain, Germany, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Liechtenstein, the statement said.

The move marks the second time Washington takes aim at violators of sanctions on Iran since world powers reached an interim deal with Iran on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme in November.

Under the six-month deal which begins Jan 20, Tehran agreed to halt part of the nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief. However, the US has warned that this does not mean Iran is open for business. Thursday's actions "reflect the United States' sustained commitment to continue enforcing our existing sanctions," the statement said. "The United States has made clear that... the overwhelming majority of sanctions remain in effect and will continue to be vigorously enforced," said Treasury's Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.

Some US senators are seeking to ratchet up sanctions against Iran despite the accord, but President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any sanctions bill from Congress.

Iran and the P5+1 group -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- will start talks on a final nuclear deal Feb 18 in Vienna, Austria.

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