Iran has smuggled some $1 billion in bank notes to avoid sanctions, according to both Iranian officials and Western diplomatic sources who spoke to Reuters. Sancitions on Iran due to its nucelar program have effectively blocked the country from operating in the global economy. U.S. officials had already determined that Iran had skirted sanctions and secured hundreds of millions through bank notes, but the $1 billion figure is far greater than previous estimates. The money was "hand-carried by couriers" on flights from through Turkey and Dubai or smuggled across the Iraq-Iran border. Iran has said it believes the sanctions are ilelgal and vowed to evade them.