Obama administration announces new sanctions targets

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration imposed sanctions on more than 30 individuals and entities around the world for violating Iran sanctions.

“These actions reflect the United States’ sustained commitment to continue enforcing our existing sanctions as the P5+1 and Iran work toward a comprehensive solution to address the international community’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear program,” said a statement Thursday from the Treasury Department, using the acronym describing the major powers now in talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

Critics of the interim agreement with Iran –- called the “Joint Plan of Action” — that set the groundwork for the current round of talks say that its formula of removing some sanctions in exchange for rolling back some nuclear activity reverses the momentum in Iran’s favor. They also say it creates disincentives for Iran to compromise.

The Obama administration has been at pains to show that most sanctions are still in place.

“The United States has made clear that as it implements the Joint Plan of Action, contingent on Iran satisfying its own commitments, the overwhelming majority of sanctions remain in effect and will continue to be vigorously enforced,” David Cohen, the Treasury undersecretary who enforces sanctions, said in the statement.

The statement said targeted entities and individuals operating in Turkey, Spain, Germany, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Liechtenstein had violated sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking sectors or related to its efforts to obtain nuclear materials and its terrorism-related activities.

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