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U.S. Sanctions Six Iranian Firms

U.S. hits six Iranian firms and shipping executives with sanctions, for dealing in weapons of mass destruction and missile technology.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/29/2012, 6:14 AM

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Reuters

The U.S. has hit six Iranian firms and shipping executives with sanctions, for allegedly dealing in weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technology, The Associated Press reported.

The latest action by the Treasury Department freezes any assets that the companies and individuals have in U.S. jurisdictions and bars Americans from doing business with them.

Two of the companies are affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, AP noted, adding that the two firms, based in Malta, and the executives are part of Iran’s national shipping line.

The Treasury Department said the sanctions “further expose” their continued involvement in illicit activities and deceptive behavior.

Affected are the Iran Maritime Industrial Company SADRA, Deep Offshore Technology PJS, the Malship Shipping Agency Ltd., Modality Limited and shipping officials Seyed Alaeddin and Sadat Rasool.

Earlier on Wednesday, a new report prepared for the U.S. Congress revealed that neither the U.S. nor Israel knows exactly where all of Iran’s nuclear facilities are.

The report by U.S. congressional researchers says that Iran's “workshops” for making nuclear centrifuges and components for the devices are widely dispersed and hidden.

Analysts for the Congressional Research Service wrote in the report that neither Israel nor the U.S. is certain of the locations of all such facilities. The report is based on interviews with current and former U.S. government officials familiar with the issue who were not identified.

Negotiations between Iran and the group of P5+1 – consisting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany – are expected to resume in April.

Tehran signaled ahead of the talks that it is willing to allow “permanent human monitoring” of its nuclear sites and “full transparency” if the West agrees to sell it enriched uranium and provide civilian nuclear assistance.