WASHINGTON — The US Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 exceptions to American companies over the past decade so that they could skirt US sanctions on Iran and other countries the US considers terrorist sponsors, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Companies such as Kraft Food and Pepsi and some of the largest US banks benefited, the newspaper said. Most licenses were granted under a law allowing trade in humanitarian goods, even if that ended up including products as diverse as cigarettes and chewing gum.
The story posted on the Times' website implies no illegal activity by administration officials or company personnel. Rather, it suggests the various deals for goods ranging from Louisiana hot sauce to body-building supplements undermine America's moral and diplomatic authority as the leading purveyor of tough sanctions on Iran, North Korea and other nations.