US Warns Allies on Business Ties to Iran
U.S. allies and partners will face "very significant risks" if they continue to do business with Iran, including the possibility of getting hit with sanctions from Washington.
The U.S. Treasury Department warned Tuesday that Iran’s use of shell companies and illicit financing to fund malign activities continued unabated, even after it signed the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. U.S. officials said they expect Tehran to ramp up such activities.
"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 like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis," said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
President Donald Trump last month announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran, calling it "a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made."
He also ordered U.S. agencies to reinstitute all nuclear sanctions against Tehran.
But European countries have been hesitant to toss aside the deal, provided the Iranian government sticks to its provisions.
Mandelker encouraged U.S. allies to harden their financial systems and encourage their companies to do extra work to make sure they are not inadvertently helping pay for what she called Iran’s nefarious activities across the Middle East.
Mandelker also warned the U.S. "will apply unprecedented financial pressure" against the Iranian government.
US Agents Arrest 114 Illegal Workers at Ohio Garden Centers
U.S. immigration agents raided two Ohio garden stores Tuesday and arrested 114 workers believed to be undocumented immigrants, for alleged identity theft.
It was the largest such sting by Homeland Security and immigration agents in recent years.
The agents carried out raids at two separate locations of Corso's Flower and Garden
Center — one in Sandusky and the other in Castalia.
Along with the arrests, agents carried out boxes of what a spokesman called "a lot of documentary evidence" from one of the stores.
The investigation into Corso's began in October when agents arrested a woman that they called a "document vendor" — someone who sells stolen identity documents to legal and illegal would-be workers. The suspected vendor led investigators to Corso's.
Corso's is not facing any criminal charges but is still under investigation. An immigration official said the garden center chain was obviously unaware it was hiring workers with falsified documents.