Despite onerous sanctions that have basically shut Iran out of the global financial system, the country is still finding some ways to bypass them, the Treasury Department said Thursday, describing what it called a small but  “emerging threat” to the effectiveness of the sanctions effort.   Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which supervises American enforcement of the sanctions, said the Iranians were using private exchange houses and trading companies in other countries, masking transactions with fake identities and relying on the paperless practice known as hawala, common in parts of the Middle East and Asia, in which money is transferred informally and often illegally through trustworthy couriers.  Mr. Szubin’s office issued an advisory on Thursday aimed at informing American financial institutions about what it called Iranian evasion techniques to circumvent the sanctions, which have been greatly intensified partly in response to Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Iran says the program is for peaceful use, while Western nations and Israel suspect it is meant to develop the ability to make nuclear weapons.  The most vexing sanctions, from Iran’s viewpoint, are financial prohibitions that have blacklisted many Iranian banks, denied them access to international money and credit channels and severely restricted Iran’s ability to sell oil, the most important Iranian export…

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/world/middleeast/iran-finding-ways-to-circumvent-sanctions-treasury-department-says.html?_r=0

 

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