The U.S. Treasury Department designated 10 companies and three individuals associated with Iran's national shipping line.
It's the latest in a series of American actions aimed at freezing Iranian assets and curtailing the country's economic reach in response to its relentless pursuit of a nuclear weapons program.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) has operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, China, and the United Kingdom (UK). IRISL continues to establish front companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates in these countries to evade sanctions and maintain its international proliferation activities.
"As the private sector around the world increasingly turns its back on Iran's national shipping line, IRISL's efforts to evade international sanctions and increased scrutiny have grown more and more desperate," said Adam Szubin, director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). "The persistent attempts by IRISL to deceive the world, including through the front companies identified today, attest to the weakness of IRISL as it tries to maintain a semblance of legitimacy while supporting Iran's proliferation activities."
Complementing the action is a 317-count indictment issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. naming 11 corporations and five people for allegedly conspiring with IRISL and its affiliates to bypass sanctions on Iran. The defendants are accused of repeatedly falsifying records of banks in New York County to gain illegal access to the U.S. financial system.
"Today our office is shining a spotlight on the fraudulent activities of IRISL, which has been sanctioned by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations for its role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Vance said. "IRISL and its sanctioned affiliates used a web of aliases or corporate alter egos across the globe to exploit the services of financial institutions located in Manhattan. New York remains the number one target of terrorist organizations around the world, and today's joint action will make it more difficult for Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism."
Treasury first designated IRISL in September 2008 for providing logistical services to Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, which is responsible for Iran's ballistic missile program. Subsequent designations, totaling 121 companies and individuals, are for assisting Iran in its efforts to elude sanctions and international scrutiny.
For full list of companies and individuals designated Monday, click here.