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37 firms directed funds to Iran, US says

BERLIN — The workers at a gas tank factory in Dinslaken, Germany, had questioned the strange goings-on at their company ever since its Iran-linked owners bought it a decade ago.

On Tuesday, they got an answer.

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The US Treasury Department announced that MCS International, along with companies in Croatia, Dubai, and elsewhere, had been part of a global network of 37 businesses designed to funnel profits and materials to the Iranian government and to evade sanctions targeting the country’s nuclear program.

The order, which places trade restrictions on the companies and on any individual or entity doing business with them around the world, is the latest of several efforts announced in the past week to curb trade with Iran-linked groups.

‘‘Even as economic conditions in Iran deteriorate, senior Iranian leaders profit from a shadowy network of off-the-books front companies,’’ the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, David Cohen, said in a statement.

The Treasury Department said the companies were part of a group called the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order that sent billions of dollars in profits back to Iran’s government every year.

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