Bush bans Iran shipper

The Bush administration banned United States dealings with Iran’s main shipper.

The U.S. Treasury notice released Wednesday also freezes any U.S. assets of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and its 17 subsidiaries. The notice said the shippers facilitate the business of weapons proliferators in Iran, at times through deception.

“Not only does IRISL facilitate the transport of cargo for U.N. designated proliferators, it also falsifies documents and uses deceptive schemes to shroud its involvement in illicit commerce,” Stuart Levey, the Treasury’s terrorism under secretary, said in the statement. “IRISL’s actions are part of a broader pattern of deception and fabrication that Iran uses to advance its nuclear and missile programs. That conduct should give pause to any financial institution or business still choosing to deal with Iran.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the order.

“AIPAC strongly supports these steps, which are part of a coordinated effort by the United States and the international community to ratchet up the pressure on Iran and convince it to suspend its illicit nuclear activities,” spokesman Josh Block said.

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