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Banks Warned of New Threat from Iran

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. banks have put been on notice by the federal government to watch out for attempts by Iran to circumvent obstacles to its access of foreign currencies.

Iran's economy has taken a major hit from ongoing international sanctions, particularly an oil embargo, as the result of its refusal to scale back its illicit nuclear program.

The Treasury Department says Tehran is now trying to take advantage of vulnerable areas in the world's financial system in order to acquire dollars and euros.

One way of doing this is by laundering money through exchange houses and trading companies based in countries such as Dubai, Turkey, and Malaysia that are not affected by Western-imposed sanctions.

A Treasury Department official said the White House would take additional action to counter what it terms an "evolving and emerging threat," suggesting that the government is pursuing cases against trade houses doing business with Iran.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio