'Iran is trying to evade sanctions'

US official says Iran using front companies to ship dangerous cargo.

iranian ship navy persian gulf 248 88 (photo credit: )
iranian ship navy persian gulf 248 88
(photo credit: )
The US imposed sanctions on three shipping companies located in Malta that belong to Iran's national sea cargo transporter on Friday, US Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey said in an opinion article he wrote in Monday's Financial Times.
Levey said that Iran's national maritime carrier, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines,  forges documents, changes ship names and sends cargo through front companies located abroad in order to get around international sanctions imposed on Teheran for conduct surrounding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
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Levey called on world governments and shipping companies to be aware of Iran's attempts to circumvent the sanctions.
The UN Security Council passed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in June to curtail Iran's nuclear program over fears it is developing weapons. The council endorsed those sanctions after Iran rebuffed a plan to suspend uranium enrichment and swap its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium for fuel rods.
Both the US and European Union followed with sanctions of their own against the Islamic Republic targeting the country's trade, financial services, energy and transport industries.
Iran denies that it is working on a nuclear weapon, saying its program is intended solely for peaceful purposes such as energy-generation, and that it has the right to enrich uranium under the international nonproliferation treaty.