Israel, US to set up joint team to enforce Iran sanctions
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Israel, US to set up joint team to enforce Iran sanctions

Finance Minister Kahlon meets counterpart Mnuchin in Washington, says reimposed US measures are ‘proving themselves’

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (L) meeting in his Jerusalem office with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on May 14, 2018. (Finance Ministry)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (L) meeting in his Jerusalem office with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on May 14, 2018. (Finance Ministry)

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and his American counterpart, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, agreed Tuesday to set up a joint team to improve the enforcement of financial sanctions on Iran in the high-tech field, Kahlon’s office said.

The United States said in May that it was abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions on Tehran in two phases, in August and November.

In a meeting in Washington — the fourth between the two since Mnuchin took office in January 2017 — the ministers decided that the responsibility for enforcing the sanctions would lie with both countries’ finance ministries.

The team will be composed of Israeli and US professionals from both offices, according to a Wednesday readout from the Finance Ministry carried by Hebrew-language media.

“The economic sanctions US is imposing on Iran are proving themselves,” Kahlon said. “They contribute to the removal of threats to the security of Israel and the entire free world, and for that we have to thank the US.”

“The meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was meant to continue and deepen the financial strategic ties with the US,” he added. “The joint team we established will have an important role in tightening the sanctions on Iran.”

The two also discussed financial cooperation on tax-related issues, but there was no development regarding US President Donald Trump’s much-debated tax reform, which could lead American companies to leave other countries — including Israel — and head back to the US.

After the meeting, Kahlon also met Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, and discussed promotion of joint Israeli-Palestinian projects with US backing.

The previous meeting between the two was in May, when Mnuchin came to Israel as part of the US delegation attending the inauguration ceremony of the country’s new embassy in Jerusalem.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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