Friday , 18 September 2020

Senior Official Defending Sanctions Says US Not Preventing Humanitarian Aid

Radiofarda – A senior U.S. Treasury Department official has told Radio Farda in an interview September 25 that Iran’s Central Bank was recently sanctioned for “funneling billions of U.S. dollars and euros to finance terror”.

Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said the United States has exposed the activities of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) “numerous times” for financing the Qods force, Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis and Hamas.

She added that CBI, through a front company, was facilitating movement of funds for Hezbollah under the guise of “humanitarian assistance”.

“We simply cannot stand by and not expose this mass funding of terror”, Mandelker maintained.

Asked if sanctioning CBI will completely block any food, medicine and humanitarian aid reaching Iran, Mandelker said the U.S. has long had general licenses authorizing the export of these essential necessities to Iran and according to trade data the flow of pharmaceuticals has not decreased this year.

“We are very supportive of pharmaceuticals and medicine and food getting into the country. We think that is very important and we will of course continue to look at requests along those line”, the Treasury official said.

U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran last year, demanding a new deal with stronger safeguards and a change in Iran’s policies in the Middle East. Since then Washington has been ratcheting up sanctions on Iran, which have almost stopped its oil exports, international banking and pushed the country’s economy into a deep recession.

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