The U.K. government is determined to keep secret British companies that applied to sell goods with potential military uses to Iran, saying international banks are under U.S. pressure to drop them as clients.
The disclosure of the companies may result in them losing access to bank services, Britain’s Export Control Organization said in reply to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Bloomberg News.
President Barack Obama signed a law almost a year ago broadening the scope of sanctions against Iran to stunt its nuclear development program. Even before then, U.K. banks were cutting off customers with links to Iran to avoid being targeted by American authorities or losing permits to do business in the U.S., said the export agency, which issues licenses to ship so- called strategic supplies with dual military or civilian uses, as well as torture equipment and radioactive material to other countries.
“Publicity in newspapers brings our members, who undertake legal trade with Iran, to the attention of the U.S. authorities, who pursue them, and to their own banks, who withdraw banking facilities,” Martin Johnston, the director general of the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, said in a filing supporting the U.K. government position...read more