Treasury targets Syrian science officials with sanctions


“These sweeping sanctions target the scientific support center for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilian men, women and children,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says. | Getty

The Trump administration is ratcheting up sanctions against the Syrian government in response to the chemical-weapons attack earlier this month.

The Treasury Department said Monday it is targeting 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which American officials said was the agency responsible for developing and producing chemical weapons.

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“These sweeping sanctions target the scientific support center for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilian men, women and children,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Treasury said the move was one of the largest sanctions actions in the history of its Office of Foreign Assets Control and more than doubles the number of individuals and entities penalized by the U.S. under Syria-related executive orders.

The sanctions will restrict U.S. persons from engaging in financial transactions or other business dealings with the science agency employees. Treasury is taking aim at highly educated chemistry experts who might travel abroad and use the U.S. financial system.

“The United States is sending a strong message with this action that we will hold the entire Assad regime accountable for these blatant human rights violations in order to deter the spread of these types of barbaric chemical weapons,” Mnuchin said.

Read more : http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/24/us-sanctions-syria-science-officials-237531

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