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U.S. Warns Europe Against Iran Payments After Austria Bows Out

  • ‘Business-as-usual sends the wrong signal,’ Brian Hook says
  • EU has sought way to shield businesses from U.S. sanctions
National flags of Iran fly above Azadi avenue in Tehran, on Nov. 3.

National flags of Iran fly above Azadi avenue in Tehran, on Nov. 3.

Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

The U.S. official overseeing President Donald Trump’s Iran strategy warned European countries against hosting a payment system to keep money flowing to the Islamic Republic, days after Austria became the latest nation to decline to host such a facility.

“We are on alert for any type of sanctions evasion, and if we see evasion we won’t hesitate to use our sanctions to stop it,” Brian Hook, the State Department special representative for Iran, said in a phone interview from Tel Aviv, where he had just wrapped up a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.