A US Congress report says despite unilaterally imposing sanctions on Iranian banks, the US government still allows subsidiaries of American companies to do business with Tehran

The report, prepared by the Congressional Research Service’s analyst Kenneth Katzman, said the subsidiaries of US companies have so far sold refinery equipment to Iran. They have also helped Tehran export ammonia.

“The US trade ban [on Iran] does not bar subsidiaries of US firms from dealing with Iran, as long as the subsidiary has no operational relationship to the parent company,” the report titled “Iran Sanctions,” added.

“For legal and policy purposes, foreign subsidiaries are considered foreign persons, not US persons, and are subject to the laws of the country in which the subsidiaries are incorporated,” the analyst said.

Katzman noted that international and unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the United Nations, US, and its European allies, have not been able to stop or even significantly hamper Iran’s nuclear program so far.

The Congressional report stated that Iran has also managed to bypass Western sanctions meant to block fuel exports to Iran.

“There is a consensus that US and UN sanctions have not, to date, accomplished their core strategic objective of causing a demonstrable shift in Iran’s commitment to its nuclear [energy] program,” the report said.

Katzman further stated that there are serious doubts about the authenticity of US President Barack Obama's claims that sanctions have slowed down Iran's nuclear energy program as the country has been able to enrich uranium to the level of 20 percent.

On December 31, 2011, Washington imposed new sanctions aimed at punishing other countries for importing Iranian oil or doing business with the Central Bank of Iran.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Washington and Tel Aviv using this pretext to threaten Iran with a military option.

Iran rejects such allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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News ID 181589