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U.S. Treasury sanctions 9 Iranian individuals, companies linked to the IRGC

U.S. Treasury Department
U.S. Treasury Department

Washington, May 10, 2018 - The U.S. Treasury imposed new sanctions on Thursday against six individuals and three companies linked to the IRGC Quds force. US Treasury secretary, Steven Munchin said Iranian regime's individuals and companies who have been sanctioned were operating a vast network of money laundering and were funneling millions of dollars to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, just days after President Donald withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal formally known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA.

The Treasury Department accused Iranian regime central bank of actively helping the group to access U.S. dollars held in foreign bank.

The US Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin said: “The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire U.S. dollars to fund the IRGC-QF’s malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the U.S. dollars were acquired.”

The six individuals and three entities were sanctioned under U.S. regulations targeting specially designated global terrorist suspects and Iranian financial activity, the Treasury said.

’s decision has given grace periods of 90 days to six months for companies to wind down their trade with .

In February 2015, Reuters reported that at least $1 billion in cash had been smuggled into despite U.S. and other sanctions. Before it reached , the cash was passed through money changers and front companies in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and , sources told Reuters.

The report said ’s central bank had worked with other entities, including sanctioned Iranian companies, to find ways to obtain US dollars, including using front companies and their networks. They said the central bank had given the orders to the front companies abroad to buy dollars.

Before the 2015 nuclear deal was reached, front companies had mushroomed in Dubai to facilitate payments to Iran. The use of multiple front companies, which bought dollars from currency traders in Dubai and , was preferred as it concealed the overall size of the dollar purchasing operation.

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