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US imposes new sanctions on nine Iranian entities

© AFP file photo of the US Treasury building in Washington, DC.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-05-10

The US Treasury imposed fresh sanctions Thursday against six people it linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Qods Force and three other Iranian entities, just days after President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

The six individuals and three companies were sanctioned under US regulations targeting specially designated terrorist suspects and Iranian financial activities, the Treasury Department said in a statement on its website.

"Today the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) jointly took action to disrupt an extensive currency exchange network in Iran and the UAE that has procured and transferred millions in US dollar-denominated bulk cash to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to fund its malign activities and regional proxy groups," the statement said. "Specifically, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated nine Iranian individuals and entities."

Iran’s Central Bank "was complicit in the IRGC-QF’s scheme and actively supported this network’s currency conversion and enabled its access to funds that it held in its foreign bank accounts", it continued.

"This network of exchangers and couriers has converted hundreds of millions of dollars."

They are the first new sanctions since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord.

"The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire US 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 US dollars were acquired," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Earlier in the day, Israel blamed the Qods Force, the external arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, for being behind a round of missiles launched at Israel's Golan Heights territory overnight.

A closer look at Iran's al Quds brigade

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-05-10

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