Treasury defends 10,000 exceptions to Iran, other sanctions


Bridget Johnson
The Hill
December 24, 2010

The Treasury Department is defending its nearly 10,000 exceptions granted to companies to skirt around sanctions on Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism.

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The New York Times reported Thursday that the waivers were granted for companies ranging from Kraft to Pepsi, mostly under a law exempting agricultural and medical humanitarian aid from sanctions. But the billions in American business allowed through has included cigarettes, chewing gum and hot sauce.

Other applications were approved on the basis that they served American foreign policy goals. In one instance, a company was allowed to help on a natural-gas pipeline job that enabled Iranian sales to Europe.

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A Treasury official speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters defended the decade worth of exemptions.

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