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US blacklists Iranian commander, firms

11 February 2010 [12:14] - TODAY.AZ
The US Treasury Department orders a freeze on assets of a commander and four subsidiaries of a construction company linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
The Treasury said in a Wednesday statement that Khatam al-Anbiya's commander, IRGC General Rostam Qasemi, was blacklisted, while the four sanctioned firms include Fater Engineering, Imensazen Consultant Engineers, Makin and Rahab Institutes.

"As the IRGC consolidates control over broad swaths of the Iranian economy, displacing ordinary Iranian businessmen in favor of a select group of insiders, it is hiding behind companies like Khatam al-Anbiya and its affiliates to maintain vital ties to the outside world," said Stuart Levey, the US Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence on Wednesday.

"Today's action exposing Khatam al-Anbiya subsidiaries will help firms worldwide avoid business that ultimately benefits the IRGC and its dangerous activities," he added.

The freeze comes one day after US President Barack Obama said the United States was developing a “significant regime of sanctions” against Iran, following Tehran's announcement of starting the enrichment of uranium to a level of 20 percent.

According to Obama, the UN Security Council is moving quickly to broaden the economic sanctions imposed on Iran.

Iran began enriching uranium to a level of 20 percent at its Natanz enrichment facility on Tuesday in order to provide nuclear fuel for its Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for the treatment of cancer patients.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the same day that 850,000 patients in Iran depend on radioisotopes produced by the Tehran research reactor.

/Press TV/

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