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Top Treasury Anti-Terror Official: Iran Exploits Int’l Financial System to Fund Aggression

The United States warned governments and the private sector on Tuesday not to engage in Iranian efforts to exploit them to fund its nuclear ambitions, global terrorism, destabilizing actions in the Middle East, and human rights abuses at home.

Speaking at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank in Washington, D.C., Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, said “Companies doing business in Iran face substantial risks, and those risks are even greater as we reimpose nuclear-related sanctions.” She added: “We will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.”

Mandelker warned that “The Iranian regime will deceive your companies, undermine the integrity of your financial systems, and put your institutions at risk of our powerful sanctions, all to fund terrorism, human rights abuses, and terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis.”

Her appeal follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s May 8 decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, as the nuclear accord with Iran is known, and to reimpose U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In her speech, Mandelker vowed that the Treasury Department will use “all the tools at our disposal” to keep maximum pressure on Iran until it ends its destabilizing actions.

“Our powerful economic authorities will give the regime a clear choice: change its unacceptable support for terrorism, destabilizing activities and human rights abuses, or face economic calamity,” Mandelker declared. “The impact of our sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course.”

She also called on governments and the private sector to take additional steps to guarantee that their companies are not being exploited by the mullah regime and its terror proxies to support their “nefarious activities.”

“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 there,” Mandelker said.

“The Iranian government,” she added, “has demonstrated time and time again, including throughout the JCPOA, that it is a regime bent on supporting terrorism and promoting ruthless actors, destabilizing the region, and abusing the human rights of its own people. And to fund these illicit activities, Iran exploits the global financial system, as well as country after country around the world.”

Mandelker appealed to America’s allies around the world to “add your voices to ours in condemning Iran’s deceptive, exploitive, and destructive practices.” She concluded: “Enough is enough. Everyone must open their eyes to the true nature of the Iranian regime.”

[Photo: Foundation for Defense of Democracies / YouTube ]