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Obama Stiffens Penalties For Violating Iran, Syria Sanctions


U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen

U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen

U.S. President Barack Obama is cracking down on foreign entities and individuals who violate U.S. sanctions on Iran and Syria.

Obama signed an executive order on May 1 authorizing the U.S. Treasury Department to publicly identify anyone and any business in "evasive and deceptive activities" and ban them from participating in the U.S. financial system.

U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said: "Whoever tries to evade our sanctions does so at the expense of the people of Syria and Iran, and they will be held accountable."

Ever tighter sanctions on both countries have led their governments to try and use non-bank financial institutions and other means to send and receive payments.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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