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Treasury Department Official Mandelker Warns About Iran

The U.S. Treasury Department building
WASHINGTON, June 5 (Reuters)

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday called on U.S. allies, partners and the private sector to work harder to ensure Iran does not exploit them to fund what it described as Iran's "nefarious activities."

"You must harden your financial networks, require your companies to do extra due diligence to keep them from being caught in Iran’s deceptive web, and make clear the very significant risks of doing business with companies and persons in Iran," Under Secretary of the Treasury Sigal Mandelker said in a speech.

"To those in the private sector, I urge you to also take additional steps to ensure Iran and its proxies are not exploiting your companies to support their nefarious activities," she said. U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8 abandoned the deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015 to curb its nuclear program.

He also announced the reimposition of trade sanctions on Tehran as well as other countries that continued to do business with it, including allies which had signed the accord.

"The Iranian regime will deceive your companies, undermine the integrity of your financial systems, and put your institutions at risk of our powerful sanctions, all to fund terrorism, human rights abuses and terrorist groups," Mandelker said.

"You must be proactive in these efforts as Iran continues to search for ways to take advantage of your companies and countries," she added.

"We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. Our powerful economic authorities will give the regime a clear choice:

Change its unacceptable support for terrorism, destabilizing activities and human rights abuses, or face economic calamity," Mandelker said.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammad Writing by Eric Walsh Editing by James Dalgleish)