U.S. Treasury official on Iran sanctions: ‘We are intent on doing more.’

A senior United States Treasury Department official said in Israel that more can be done to place financial pressure on Iran and the U.S. is “intent on doing more.”

David Cohen, U.S. undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told Israel Army Radio Monday that “sanctions are having an impact on Iran, but I also recognize that more needs to be done.”

Cohen, who is in Israel for discussions with senior Israeli security officials, also was interviewed by the Israeli daily Haaretz. “The objective is to bring about a strategic change with regard to the nuclear program, and I recognize that more needs to be done and we intend to do that,” he told the paper.

Cohen, who coordinates U.S. sanctions policy, is set to hold talks with Mossad chief Tamir Pardo; Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi; national security adviser Yaakov Amidror and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer during his visit to Israel.

Cohen intends to discuss a new slate of sanctions on the Iranian regime for its refusal to stop its nuclear program.

He said the U.S. will continue to work with Israel and other partners in order to increase pressure on Iran.

U.S. Treasury levels new sanctions against Iran

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed additional sanctions against Iranian engineering firms linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and individuals and companies linked to the Iranian state shipping line.

“Treasury is sending a clear signal to the international community that Iran’s attempts to evade international sanctions will not go unnoticed,” Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement.

The additional sanctions were announced Wednesday.

The Treasury Department singled out the Iran Maritime Industrial Co. SADRA and its subsidiary Deep Offshore Technology PJS for cooperating with the engineering arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Under the sanctions, the assets of the companies were frozen, and any foreign bank caught doing business with the firms could lose their U.S. banking privileges.

U.S. Treasury looking into Gov. Rendell fees from terror group

The U.S. Treasury Department is investigating speaking fees allegedly paid to former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on behalf of a State Department-designated terrorist organization.

The Treasury Department is seeking to subpoena records of payments made by backers of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian dissident group, to Rendell for his speaking engagements on behalf of the group, the Washington Times wrote in a story published March 9.

Rendell is one of many prominent Jewish officials, including former Attorney General Michael Muskasey and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who speak on behalf of the MEK.

Rendell and other political officials have called for the MEK to be removed from the State Department terrorist list, claiming that there are no credible reports that it has engaged in violence in more than two decades.

Additionally, they say, the MEK, which had been harbored in Iraq by Saddam Hussein’s regime, complied with a U.S. directive and disarmed after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. It is now vulnerable to an Iranian-tilting Iraqi government, and delisting the group would facilitate finding refuge for the 3,400 members remaining in Iraq.

The MEK has called for the overthrow of the religious leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The MEK has been on the State Department terrorist list since 1997.