The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday that the targeted “front companies, senior officials, and business associates…provide support to or act for or on behalf of” Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its branch for elite operations abroad, the Quds Force.
The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in a statement on Thursday, announced it has designated 20 front companies, senior officials, and business associates in Iran and Iraq that support or act for or on behalf of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Qods Force. According to this statement, these companies and individuals have also been “transferring lethal aid to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq such as Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH).”
Among other activities, the companies and individuals were said to be involved in smuggling weapons to Yemen, selling U.S.-blacklisted Iranian oil to the Syrian government, promoting propaganda efforts in Iraq, and intimidating Iraqi politicians. selling Iranian oil to the Syrian regime; smuggling weapons to Iraq and Yemen; promoting propaganda efforts in Iraq on behalf of the IRGC-QF and its terrorist militias; intimidating Iraqi politicians; and using funds and public donations made to an ostensibly religious institution to supplement IRGC-QF budgets. The terrorist militias supported by the Iranian regime such as KH and AAH have continued to engage in attacks on U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq,” read the statement.
The sanctions freeze any U.S.-held assets of those designated and bar Americans from doing business with them.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Iran “employs a web of front companies to fund terrorist groups across the region, siphoning resources away from the Iranian people and prioritizing terrorist proxies over the basic needs of its people.”
The targeted entities and individuals include the Reconstruction Organization of the Holy Shrines in Iraq, which the U.S. Treasury Department described as an organization based in Iran and Iraq that is controlled by the Quds Force.
“OFAC is also designating Mohammad Jalal Maab, the current head of ROHSI, who was personally appointed to the position by former IRGC-QF Commander Soleimani. Jalal Maab succeeded Hassan Pelarak, an IRGC-QF officer and co-owner of Kosar Company, who was selected by Soleimani to serve as his special assistant on an IRGC-QF-led committee focused on sanctions evasions activity. Pelarak also worked with IRGC-QF officials to transfer missiles, explosives, and small arms to Yemen, intensifying the Yemeni conflict and exacerbating one of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophes,” the Treasury Department added.