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Levey: implementation of Iran sanctions not just Middle East effort

posted on 16/08/2010: 814 views



U.S Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey said he is holding talks in the UAE, Bahrain and Lebanon this week on sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Iran over its nuclear programme.

In statements to WAM yesterday in Abu Dhabi, Levey said the talks will be held "to discuss the new UN Security Council resolution last June imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Tehran" and to also "to make sure, especially the new legislation passed by the U.S (last June) with respect to the sanctions, is well understood by (U.S) partners in the region."

The U.S official said to make sure "they understand the obligations and the implementation of the Security Council resolution especially in light of the implementation done by the European Union, Canada and Australia."

This is not just Middle East effort, according to Levey who said "there are other teams that have been or are going to Brazil, Ecuador, Japan, South Korea, Turkey." "We will be going everywhere as soon as we can...because the important thing is to have a global implementation of these sanctions," he added.

Levey's talks will also take in attempts by Iran to seeking alternative hubs and working around the sanctions with tools such as front companies, doctored wire transfers and falsifying shipping documents." "The UAE has been sensitive to the risks posed to its reputation by Iranian activities and over time has been diligently to protect itself from that sort of illicit activity," Levey said.

Levey warned that "as Iran becomes more isolated and is driven from other markets, there will be greater attempts to engage in evasive conduct and therefore simply keeping a steady vigilance is not good enough." He stressed that "everyone has to heighten their efforts in order to prevent this sort of illicit activity, the topic of his discussions in the UAE."

"There is no question in my mind that this sort of evasion and working through front companies and sorts of similar activities will continue," Levey said stressing the "need to keep identifying (these activities) and taking the action to prevent their operation." The U.S senior official said he is "deeply appreciative of the deep and broad friendship and alliance with the United Arab Emirates."

The U.S will continue to consult on all issues of importance like this with concerned countries, according to Levey who that over the course of his stay in the UAE he will be meeting governmental officials and people from the private sector.

Levey said the U.S government is "sensitive to the unique position (of the UAE) with respect to Iran both in terms of the historical trade ties and familial ties between the two countries.. but also in terms of the challenges that are posed by the robust implementation of the Security Council resolution." He further stressed that "the U.S will also continue to engage in other forms of dialogue, not just with the UAE but with other countries as well, to try and identify these risks as they come up and help everyone take counter measures."

"This is because the UAE is quite sensitive to making sure that the types of illicit conduct that Iran has engaged in over time do not occur here."

The effectiveness of the sanctions in curbing Iran's nuclear drive should be measured, according to U.S official, by the "starkness of the choice presented to Iran." Among the economic difficulties Iran faces, Levey cited Iran's inability to attract investment into their core industries (oil and gas) and the difficulties in "creating jobs for the very large cohort of young people." â€" Emirates News Agency, WAM



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