- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2013

An Iranian businessman, a Malaysian bank and a handful of companies believed to have been involved in a money laundering scheme were all slapped with financial penalties Thursday, in a U.S. crackdown on companies that violate sanctions against Iran.

Treasury Department officials also blacklisted First Islamic Investment bank for giving financial support to the National Iranian Oil Company, in violation of U.S. law, Reuters reported. The company was cited for transferring billions of dollars for Iran’s government.

“As international sanctions have become increasingly stifling, Iran has resorted to criminal money laundering techniques, moving its oil and money under false names and pretenses,” said David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department, as quoted in Reuters.

The U.S. has sanctioned Iran as a means of controlling and halting its nuclear program development. The goal is to stop funding for development of nuclear weapons.

In March, Treasury officials slapped financial penalties onto a Greek businessman, Dimitris Cambis, for operating a secret shipping network to help Tehran avoid oil sanctions, Reuters reported.

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