(photo credit: Amir Kholousi\AP)
WASHINGTON – The US Treasury stepped up its efforts to end Iranian financing of terror groups Tuesday, designating a host of new Iranian officials and organizations the US charges with aiding Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah and other terrorist groups.
RELATED:Iran's gasoline imports halved by US sanctionsUS:
Iran sanctions starting to bite
The US also released a list of companies, mostly located in Europe, that the Treasury says are actually owned or controlled by the Iranian government. Such identification is important in helping American and other companies avoid unwittingly doing business with Iran in ways that could put them in jeopardy, particularly in the wake of new US and European sanctions on dealings with Teheran.
“As its isolation from the international financial and commercial systems increases, the government of Iran will continue efforts to evade sanctions, including using government- owned entities around the world that are not easily identifiable as Iranian to facilitate transactions in support of their illicit activities,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey in a statement announcing the moves. “Today’s identifications will mitigate the risk that such entities pose to legitimate transactions.”
The terror list designations were aimed at groups and individuals aiding
terrorist organizations Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, the Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Taliban.
They were particularly aimed at the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp,
which the Treasury described as “Iran’s primary arm for executing its
policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups,” by providing
“material, logistical assistance, training and financial support to
militants and terrorist operatives throughout the Middle East and South