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Tough US Sanctions on Iran Go Into Effect as US Targets State Broadcaster - Corruption Currents - WSJ

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Tough U.S. sanctions on Iran signed into law last August went into effect Wednesday as the Treasury Department announced new designations targeting the state broadcaster, its director as well as three other entities.

The sanctions, which were implemented in October, are part of a broader effort to target Iran for not complying with U.S. and Western pressure to halt its nuclear program.

Among other things, the law closes loopholes in existing sanctions on Iran, and adds penalties for those aiding Iran’s petroleum, petrochemical, insurance, shipping and financial sectors. It also broadens the list of available programs under which sanctions can be imposed on Iranian individuals and entities.

Parent companies of foreign subsidiaries violating sanctions can be targeted, and Treasury laid out in December how companies can exit the Iranian market before March 8 without violating the measures.

Erich Ferrari, the principal at Ferrari & Associates, a boutique law firm specializing in U.S. sanctions, said in a brief interview that his clients began winding down transactions long ago. “A lot of people saw this coming down the pipeline and took whatever necessary steps” to prepare for it, he said.

Key provisions of the sanctions went into effect on Wednesday, including a section that amended existing sanctions on Iran’s central bank, blacklisted Iranian financial institutions and the country’s oil sector, Treasury said in a statement.