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Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz will issue an order in the next few days that adds Iran to the official list of enemy nations. This would ban any economic relations with the Islamic Republic, or on its behalf. The new regulation adds to the regulations against trading with the enemy, which did not include Iran.

Steinitz asked the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday to approve new regulations banning investments in companies that have business connections with Iran. This is the first step in putting together the list of such companies. Meanwhile, Israeli financial institutions such as banks, mutual funds and other institutional investors will be banned from having any dealings with such companies.

The new regulations set criteria for defining material business relations with Iran.

"This a significant step in Israel's participation in economic sanctions against Iran, as part of [our] commitment to the international effort to prevent Iran's ability to develop nonconventional weapons that threaten Israel's and all Western nations' existence," said Steinitz.

Two weeks ago, after the recent scandals over trade with Iran, three senior Israeli regulators released new rules warning against dealings with bodies connected to the Iranian nuclear program. The chairman of the Israel Securities Authority, Shmuel Hauser; the commissioner of capital markets, insurance and savings at the Finance Ministry, Oded Sarig; and the supervisor of banks at the Bank of Israel, David Zaken, published the new regulations, each for their own sphere of authority.