In the ongoing efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program, the United States unveiled new sanctions Wednesday against people and entities associated with the regime's illicit weapons program. Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1929, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey announced that this action signaled the administration's renewed efforts at combating Iranian nuclear proliferation.
Among those targeted by the new sanctions are:
- Post Bank of Iran for providing financial services to, and acting on behalf of, Bank Sepah.
- Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps entities and individuals including the IRGC Air Force and Missile Command, and Sepanir Oil and Gas Engineering Company.
- Mohammad Ali Jafari and Mohammad Reza Naqdi for their leadership positions within the IRGC.
- Javedan Mehr Toos, a procurement broker for Kaleye Electronic Company which is tied to Iran's WMD program.
- Javad Karimi Sabet and Amhad Vahidi for their ties to Iran's nuclear and WMD programs.
- Five Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines front companies and 27 vessels.
- 22 entities in the insurance, petroleum and petrochemicals industries determined to be owned or controlled by the government of Iran.
The United States has previously attempted to dissuade Iran's nuclear ambitions with sanctions (see here, here, and here), however, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner called these latest efforts "the toughest sanctions ever imposed on the Iranian government." As a result of these designations, all transactions involving any of these listed and anyone in the U.S. are prohibited.
Whether or not these efforts will be effective remains to be seen. As Levey explained:
"If the Iranian Government holds true to form, it will scramble to identify 'work arounds'—hiding behind front companies, doctoring wire transfers, falsifying shipping documents."