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US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has urged the international community to be vigilant in their dealings with Iranian banks, citing "money laundering and terror financing risks."
The US is concerned about "illicit finance emanating from Iran" said Mr. Geithner, speaking to the International Monetary Fund's International Monetary and Financial Committee in Istanbul ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
His statement comes after Iran agreed at international talks in Geneva last week to open a recently revealed second uranium enrichment facility to international inspectors. Iran also agreed to two more meetings with the US and other world powers in October.
According to Agence France-Presse, Geithner said Sunday the international community should enact "countermeasures" against Iran.
Geithner also called for countries to implement a United Nations Security Council resolution approved last year, imposing sanctions against Iran, by exercising "enhanced vigilance" over their links with Iranian banks.
He said states should monitor links between their financial institutions and "Iranian financial institutions -- including branches and subsidiaries abroad -- and particularly with respect to Bank Saderat and Bank Melli."
In Congress, Sen. Christopher Dodd increased pressure for tougher measures on Iran, saying he planned to introduce legislation for new sanctions if Iran does not respond "to our final diplomatic effort in the coming weeks," reports Agence France-Presse.
Dodd's proposed bill aims to impose new sanctions on companies exporting refined petroleum products to Tehran, and impose a broad ban on direct imports out of Iran to the United States excepting for food and medicines.
It would also expand existing legislation to cover financial institutions and businesses and extend sanctions to oil and gas pipelines, as well as boost moves to freeze the assets of Iranians accused of weapons proliferation. …