On May 1st, the US Treasury sanctioned a company allegedly tied to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.
Treasury designates IRGC-Qods Force front company and owner https://t.co/y9JAc9EGgi
— Treasury Department (@USTreasury) May 1, 2020
“The Iranian regime and its supporters continue to prioritize the funding of international terrorist organizations over the health and well-being of the Iranian people,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States remains committed to working with financial institutions, non-profit organizations, and international partners to facilitate humanitarian trade and assistance to the Iranian people.”
The company, as well as its owner were sanctioned.
The owner is dual Iranian and Iraqi national Amir Dianat, “a longtime associate of senior officials of Iran’s IRGC-QF.”
Dianat is also reportedly know as “Ameer Abdulazeez Jaafar Almthaje” and is accused of being involved in efforts to generate revenue and smuggle weapons abroad.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is also sanctioning Taif Mining Services LLC, a company owned, controlled, or directed by Dianat.
Prosecutors also charged Dianat’s alleged business associate, Kamran Ali Lajmiri, 42.
The government filed a forfeiture action to claim money used to purchase the Nautic, a 900-foot-long tanker that was previously named the Gulf Sky, and is now detained in the Gulf of Oman.
Together with that, the the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia filed criminal charges against Dianat and one of his business associates for violations of sanctions and money laundering laws, and filed a related civil forfeiture action alleging that approximately $12 million is subject to forfeiture as funds involved in these crimes and as assets of a foreign terrorist organization.
This is possible since the US in 2019 designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. In response, Iran designated US Central Command as a terrorist organization.
The U.S. sanctioned an IRGC-QF front company and its owner for funding terrorism and smuggling arms. While the world confronts #COVID19, the Iranian regime and its supporters are prioritizing terrorist funding over the health and well-being of the Iranian people. https://t.co/D3EUbO7aWh
— NSC (@WHNSC) May 4, 2020
Dianat, an associate of IRGC-QF officials Behnam Shahriyari and Rostam Ghasemi, “has supported IRGC-QF smuggling operations for several years, including efforts aimed at the shipment of weapons including missiles.”
As per the statement, the IRGC-QF has relied on Dianat to secure entry for vessels carrying IRGC-QF shipments and has used his business connections to facilitate logistics requirements.
Allegedly, Dianat has been directly involved in IRGC-QF efforts to smuggle shipments from Iran to Yemen.
Finally, Dianat has been involved in developing additional illicit business opportunities to generate revenue for the IRGC-QF, and in 2019, leveraged Taif Mining Services LLC, a company under his control, to procure an oil tanker.
This designation is a way for the US to show the world that its maximum pressure campaign against Iran wouldn’t stop regardless of any fallout from COVID-19, for Washington or Tehran.
Sanctioning a relatively unknown individual, with a company that can’t be considered major by any means is evidence of that, since most Iranian officials, military or not are already sanctioned. Now, the time comes for any Iranian individual who has any arbitrary, proven or unproven ties to “the regime.”
In March, the Treasury Department identified a group of Iran- and Iraq-based targets over their apparent support for the IRGC, its Quds Force foreign arm and Iranian-backed groups within the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq.
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