Costco cancels Iranian business memberships in Japan, U.K.

Move made in compliance with sanctions against Iran

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Workers for Iran's airline and embassy in Japan will have to go somewhere else for their big packages of paper towels.

Costco Wholesale Corp. said it found and canceled four employees of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Japan and two employees of Iran Air in the United Kingdom who had business memberships with the club retailer. The embassy employees spent about $5,497 at the store, while the Iran Air members didn't spend any money, for a total profit of less than $168.

"The Company does not intend to continue these activities," a quarterly regulatory filing read. The disclosure was made under the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.

Of the club retailer's 627 stores around the world, 24 are in the United Kingdom, while 15 are in Japan.


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