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US slaps economic sanctions on Iran Air for supporting Tehran military's nefarious acts

June 24, 2011 - Washington

The United States has imposed economic sanctions on Iran's national airline, saying that Iran Air had provided "material support and services" to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which supported terrorism and committed human rights abuses against protesters.

The US treasury department also accused Iranian port company Tidewater Middle East Company of the Revolutionary Guard Corp of exporting arms and military equipment from the seven ports it operates in the country, the BBC reports.

Reports have also suggested that Iran Air passenger planes were allegedly used by the Revolutionary Guards to transport rockets and missiles, with some of them being sent to Syria.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in a joint statement that the new sanctions would bar any US company to do business with Iran Air or Tidewater, and that if the companies held any assets in the US, those will be frozen.

The US has been accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, which Tehran has denied saying that its programme is wholly peaceful.

Meanwhile, both the leaders warned that the US would continue to pressurise Iran until a solution is found about its nuclear programme.

"Preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a top US government priority and we remain deeply concerned about Iran's nuclear intentions," Clinton and Geithner said.

"The US and our partners remain fully committed to a diplomatic solution with Iran. However, until Iran is prepared to engage seriously with us on such a solution, we will continue to increase pressure against Iranian entities of concern," they added.


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