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Statement - Designating Iran Air and Key Iranian Port Operator

Kirk Applauds Treasury Acting Under Secretary Cohen for Designating Iran Air and Key Iranian Port Operator

Thursday, Jun 23, 2011

WASHINGTON - United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today released the following statement regarding the Treasury Department's designation of Iran Air and a major Iranian port operator, Tidewater Middle East:

"I applaud Acting Under Secretary David Cohen for moving decisively to designate Iran Air and a major Iranian port operator responsible for facilitating Iran's illicit transfer of weapons and other proliferation activities. Both designations will significantly restrict shipping to and from Iran and put even more pressure on the Iranian economy. Under Secretary Cohen has proven himself to be a worthy successor to former Under Secretary Levey. He has my confidence.

"In the weeks ahead, I urge the Administration to move forward with our allies in Europe and Asia to implement a comprehensive strategy to collapse the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The CBI facilitates the operations of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Ministry of Intelligence Services, and lies at the center of Iran's strategy to circumvent international sanctions. It is time for the United States and our allies to decapitate the CBI and place unprecedented stress on the Iranian economy."

In its designation announcement today, the Treasury Department noted that, "Tidewater-managed ports are a crucial component of Iran's infrastructure and transport network, and shipments into Tidewater facilities provide an avenue of revenue to the IRGC in support of its illicit conduct. The Iranian Government has repeatedly used Tidewater-managed ports to export arms or related materiel in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs)."

With regard to Iran Air, the Treasury Department reported that, "Iran Air has provided support and services to [the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics] and the IRGC through the transport and/or transfer of goods for, or on behalf of, these entities."

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