U.S. drops Ofer Bros. from sanctions list

The Obama administration lifted sanctions on an Israeli shipping firm it had charged with dealing with Iran.

The United States in May had sanctioned the Ofer Brothers Group for providing a tanker valued at $8.65 million to an Iranian shipping company.

The sanctions occasioned a scandal in Israel, which has been at the forefront of efforts to isolate Iran because of the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that the State Department removed Ofer Brothers, but kept on the list three companies indirectly owned by the company.

The firm, which had maintained that the sale was inadvertent, told the AP that “the action clears our name.”

The brothers, widely respected and believed to be the richest men in Israel, died in the months intervening—Sammy in June at 89 and Yuli last week at 87.