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US okays business with Iran: NYT

WASHINGTON: The New York Times is reporting that the Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 exceptions to American companies over the past decade so that they could skirt U.S. sanctions on Iran and other countries the U.S. considers terrorist sponsors.

The newspaper says companies such as Kraft Food and Pepsi, and some of the largest U.S. banks, benefited. Most licenses were granted under a law allowing trade in humanitarian goods, even if that included products such as cigarettes and chewing gum.

The story was posted on the Times' website Thursday. It said one American company could bid on a pipeline job to help Iran sell natural gas to Europe even though the U.S. opposes such deals. Other companies were permitted to deal with Iranian companies suspected of terrorist involvement or weapons proliferation.


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