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US pushes UN to tighten Iran sanctions blacklist

By AFP
media Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qasem Soleimani (C) is on a UN sanctions blacklist that the United States says must be updated to be properly enforced IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER'S WEBSITE/AFP/File

The United States has asked the UN Security Council to update its sanctions blacklist on Iran after complaining of lapses in enforcing travel bans and asset freezes, according to a letter seen by AFP on Wednesday.

The push for tougher enforcement of UN sanctions came amid soaring tensions between the United States and Iran following Washington's decision to impose new sanctions on Tehran and recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

The UN blacklist contains the names of 23 individuals and 61 entities linked to Iran's nuclear activities, including the commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Qods force, Major General Qasem Soleimani.

All 81 people and entities are subject to a global travel ban and asset freeze to be enforced by all UN member-states.

In a letter sent to the council, the United States complained that the list had not been updated in over nine years to include aliases and other information to all UN member-states.

"Full implementation of these asset freeze and travel ban measures requires continuing attention to the details of the designation list," wrote acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen in the letter sent Monday.

The letter cited an aviation services company known as Pars Aviation which the US said had changed names to Pouya Air and a banned company, Oriental Oil Kish, which the US said was operating or had ties to two trading companies in another country.

The United States raised Soleimani's continued travel including to Iraq and Lebanon and offered to present "a fulsome list" of the commander's visits abroad, in violation of the travel ban.

The United States did not, however, indicate that it would request that new names of individuals or companies be added to the sanctions blacklist.

On Monday, President Donald Trump slapped new unilateral sanctions on Iran, targeting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and eight Iranian commanders. The US said it would also slap sanctions Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Since the Iran nuclear deal was endorsed by the Security Council in 2015, 37 individuals and entities have been removed from the UN blacklist.

 
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