This was a clear violation of US sanctions against Iranian oil and providing material support to Assad, but to make matters worse, the hundreds of millions of dollars raised was used by Iran’s Quds Force, a foreign affairs wing of the brutal Revolutionary Guards, to fund militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, who are designated by the US as terrorist groups.
Two Iranians working with Iran’s Central Bank, which is also under US sanctions, were among the sanctioned, along with an Iranian that posed as a medical and pharmaceutical company, but has actually been facilitating illicit money transfers for the Iranian regime.
Others targeted include a Syrian national and his Russia-based company Global Vision Group, as well as state-owned Russian company Promsyrioimport.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement: “We are acting against a complex scheme Iran and Russia have used to bolster the Assad regime and generate funds for Iranian malign activity. Central Bank of Iran officials continue to exploit the international financial system, and in this case, even used a company whose name suggests a trade in humanitarian goods as a tool to facilitate financial transfers supporting this oil scheme.”
This latest move is part of the US’s “maximum pressure” campaign to counter the “destructive and destabilizing behaviour” of the Iranian regime, alongside the reimposition of nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions.
Iran’s malign behaviour includes the violent intervention in other Middle Eastern countries, where every year the Regime spends billions of dollars to fuel sectarian violence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Palestine.
The mullahs claim that this is meant to protect the Iranian people, but the truth is that is actually bankrupting them; leaving no money to pay for any of the things that the Iranian people actually need, like healthcare or food.
Worse still, when the Iranian people stood up against this and organised huge protests, with the slogans “Leave Syria, think about us” and “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran”, the Regime launched a violent crackdown. Still, the Iranian people have continued their protests and are calling for the overthrow of the regime.
These sanctions against Iran’s malign behaviour will only help the Iranian people to overthrow the Regime.