WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated 21 new entities as being controlled by the Iranian government.
Tuesday’s designations included businesses in the banking, insurance and investment, and mining and engineering industries located throughout Europe and Japan.
The Treasury identified the businesses to make it easier for American citizens, who are prohibited from doing business with the Iranian government by newly enacted sanctions, to avoid them.
“As its isolation from the international financial and commercial systems increases, the Government of Iran will continue efforts to evade sanctions, including using government-owned entities around the world that are not easily identifiable as Iranian to facilitate transactions in support of their illicit activities,” Stuart Levy, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.
According to the Treasury, many of the companies claim they are privately owned Iranian businesses but are controlled by the government.
The entities, located in Belarus, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan and Luxembourg, include four banks, two investment and trading companies, and 11 mining and engineering companies.
The designations came about two weeks after U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to make companies aware that unwittingly they may be violating the Iran sanctions law.