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21st of May 2018

International



US Sanctions Head Of Iran’s Central Bank For Sending Millions To Support Global Terrorism

The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed new sanctions on the head of Iran’s Central Bank and a handful of others for supporting global terrorism, according to a departmental press release.

The new sanctions target Iranian, Syrian, and Iraqi nationals, including “the governor and a senior official of the Central Bank of Iran, an Iraq-based bank and its chairman, and a key [Hezbollah] official,” who stand accused of moving “millions of dollars on behalf of the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force] and [Hezbollah].”

Valiollah Seif, the head of Iran’s Central Bank, allegedly sent money to the IRGC-QF via the Iraq-based al-Bilad Islamic Bank to support Hezbollah’s “violent and radical agenda.”

All of the sanctioned individuals were designated as global terrorists. The IRGC-QF has been blacklisted since 2007, and the broader IRGC has been designated since 2017.

“Today’s action cuts off Iran’s use of a critical banking network,” the Department of the Treasury said in the relevant statement. “The United States will not permit Iran’s increasingly brazen abuse of the international financial system.  The global community must remain vigilant against Iran’s deceptive efforts to provide financial support to its terrorist proxies,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin asserted.

Treasury took steps earlier in May to cripple an illegal Iranian currency-exchange network in the United Arab Emirates funneling money to the radical IRGC-QF and its regional proxies. The department blacklisted nine Iranian entities — six individuals and three firms. (RELATED: US Moves To Strangle Iranian Efforts To Secure Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To Fund Its Troubling Military Activities)

At that time, the Department of the Treasury called out Iran’s Central Bank for being “complicit in the IRGC-QF’s scheme,” noting that the financial institution “actively supported this network’s currency conversion and enabled its access to funds that it held in its foreign bank accounts.”

“We are intent on cutting off IRGC revenue streams wherever their source and whatever their destination,” Mnuchin said last week.

Treasury’s efforts to strangle Iran’s illicit financial networks follow a decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iran deal. The U.S. is expected to impose new sanctions on Iran later this year.

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