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A Warning About Iran's Deceptive Business Practices

In the wake of the United States' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the renewed imposition by the U.S of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, many companies are ending their business involvement with Iran because they do not want to run afoul of U.S. sanctions.

In an address in Washington, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker warned, however, that it is often difficult for businesses and governments to even know they are dealing with Iran because of the regime's employment of subterfuge “to finance itself and its long list of malign activities:”

“It uses forged documents to hide its participants and deceive legitimate private and public actors...It finds what it perceives to be weak links and exploits those links in the hopes that its activities will go undetected. It uses officials with influence and credentials to facilitate its illicit transactions. And all of this is in support of nefarious activity, whether it is funding terrorists, supporting WMD proliferation, or exploiting its own people through corruption and human rights abuses.”

“Everyone must open their eyes to the true nature of the Iranian regime,” Under Secretary Mandelker said. The reason why the U.S. has imposed sanctions on Iran is to thwart the regime's terrorist activity in the Middle East; its support for the murderous Assad regime in Syria; its development of ballistic missiles; and its rampant abuse of the Iranian people.

Under Secretary Mandelker urged governments and banks around the world to be alert to Iran's deceptive practices. “You must harden your financial networks, require your companies to do extra due diligence to keep them from being caught in Iran's deceptive web, and make clear the very significant risks of doing business with companies and persons in Iran.”

She declared, “We will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.”

Addressing U.S. allies, Under Secretary Mandelker said, “We must work together to pressure Iran to make tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in its policies.” In the meantime, she added, the United States “will continue to shine a light on Iran's destructive activities and target Iran's efforts to deceive the international community, undermine the international financial system, and violate the laws of our allies and partners.”

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