GAO Study On Iran Exports Released To Congress
Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), released a report to Congress on US exports to Iran. In 2008, Representative Scott and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman called for a GAO investigation into the alarming growth of U.S. exports to Iran. The GAO study was requested in response to an Associated Press (AP) report that year stating that U.S. exports to Iran -- including cigarettes, cosmetics, perfume, fur clothing, musical instruments and possibly weapons --grew more than tenfold during the Bush Administration.
"While the GAO reports find problems with reporting and tracking export documents, I am somewhat assured that federal agencies have restricted direct trade with Iran. However, the indirect export of US-made dual-use goods to Iran through other countries still raises significant concerns," stated Rep. Scott. "It is necessary that we provide Treasury and other agencies the tools needed monitor and track US goods being sent to Iran through any means. While we continue to assist the Iranian people with humanitarian goods, such as medicine and food, we must be clear that it is in our national security interest that we enforce prohibitions on certain exports to Iran and that we ensure that exemptions to U.S. trade sanctions are not being abused."
The GAO report finds that errors were common in reporting direct exports of goods to Iran to the Census Bureau. Further, the GAO found that the Treasury Department's paper system of records is difficult to search for compliance accuracy. However, the areas of most concern are the American goods sent to Iran indirectly through other countries. For your convenience, a copy of the GAO report can be found at the following link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10375.pdf