April 7, 2012
The Obama administration’s man in charge of squeezing Tehran over its nuclear program is unapologetic for the difficulties faced by banks in their dealings with Iran since the US tightened sanctions against the country.
Companies that trade with Iran are struggling to get paid and the biggest Asian countries are scrambling to work around US sanctions that aim to deprive Tehran of revenue needed to develop its nuclear program.
“I don’t feel apologetic about it because that is the consequence of these banks in Iran willingly facilitating transactions for Iran’s nuclear programs,” said David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury Department.
“If they are going to do that, they shouldn’t be accessible to the international financial system. They shouldn’t be financial institutions that any reputable bank wants to deal with,” Cohen said in an interview.