A top US Treasury Department official warned Arab businessmen and bankers on Wednesday that even innocuous trade with Iran could help bankroll the country's disputed nuclear program.
Stuart Levey, the US undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the long arm of US sanctions could come down on Arab companies trading with some government-linked firms in Iran.
"Those who are tempted to deal with targeted high-risk actors are put on notice: if they continue this relationship, they may be next to be targeted for action," Levey told about 200 bankers at the Eurofinance conference in Dubai.
Levey said Iranian government-linked firms were disguising nuclear procurements as innocent business transactions. The US government believes Iran's nuclear program is aimed at building a nuclear weapon, but Iran says it is for electricity.