WASHINGTON - The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on nine new targets, saying the entities and people targeted had supported Iran's efforts to avoid sanctions and backed the government's human rights abuses, including censorship.
U.S. Treasury Department officials said in a statement the latest move was part of an effort to enforce existing sanctions while the United States and other countries continue to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program.
“Although we do not support the imposition of any new nuclear-related sanctions while negotiations are ongoing ... we have made clear, by word and deed, that we will continue to enforce our existing sanctions,” Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen, said in a statement.
The newly named targets include five people and one entity for their role in helping the Iranian government buy or acquire U.S. currency, according to the department.
They include: former Iranian citizen Hossein Zeidi and Iranian Seyed Kamal Yasini, who U.S. officials said helped convert Iranian money into local currency and then into U.S. dollars; Azizullah Asadullah Qulandary, an Afghanistan citizen who helped deliver those dollars to the Iranian government. Asadollah Seifi, Teymour Ameri and Dubai-based Belfast General Trading also delivered U.S. currency to the Iranian government, according to Treasury officials.
Asia Bank official Anahita Nasirbeik, an Iranian, also was designated for supporting the Central Bank of Iran or the Iranian government's efforts in acquiring or buying U.S. bank notes, the statement said.
U.S. officials also named two Iranian companies, Douran Software Technologies and Abyssec, for their role in supporting Iran's human rights abuses, according to the department.