US announces new mechanism for humanitarian exports to Iran

Washington, The United States administration on Friday announced a new mechanism on “humanitarian” exports to Iran.

Although the “channel” officially aims at facilitating the arrival of humanitarian exports, observers believe it would be an additional obstacle to trade with Iran, which is under economic sanctions.

“A new humanitarian channel will make it easier for foreign governments, financial institutions and private companies to engage in legitimate humanitarian trade on behalf of the Iranian people while reducing the risk that money ends up in the wrong hands,” Brian Hook, the State Department point man on Iran, said in a statement.

Hook pointed out that to seek certification, each institution will need to submit “substantial and unprecedented” information on a monthly basis, including all invoices and details on their customers, including whether they appeared on any United States, European Union or United Nations blacklists in the previous five years.

Brian O’Toole, a senior Treasury Department adviser dealing with sanctions under former president Barack Obama, said the measure looked like it was aimed more at gathering intelligence than helping Iranians.

He expected many foreign banks to be unable to provide the level of detail required, saying the measure is “going to have a chilling effect.”

Source: Jordan News Agency