WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US imposed sanctions on six individuals and three companies Thursday that cost millions of dollars for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard's Islamic elite troop just days after President Donald Trump retired from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.
The Ministry of Finance The United Arab Emirates Emirates, where front companies were based, said they disrupted the operations of the large network and accused the Iranian central bank of helping the group to gain access to US dollars in foreign banks to bypass Western sanctions.
"The Iranian regime and its central bank have abused access to facilities in the United Arab Emirates to raise dollars to finance the malicious activities of the IRGC-QF, including the funding and arming of its regional representative groups US purpose of keeping silent about dollars were acquired, "said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
The IRGC is by far the most powerful security unit of Iran and has control over large parts of the Iranian economy and a huge impact on its political system. The Quds Force is an elite unit responsible for the IRGC's foreign operations.
The six individuals and three companies, including front-line IRGC QF and forex traders, have been sanctioned under US regulations for specially designated global terrorist suspects and Iranian financial activities, the Ministry of Finance said.
The United Arab Emirates later said they had put the same companies and individuals on their list of terrorist and terrorist organizations doing business with the IRGC-QF.
The raid comes when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urges his allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to force Iran to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump's decision has granted grace periods ranging from 90 days to six months to companies that reduce their trade with Iran.
The Ministry of Finance said one of the sanctioned companies also participated in the recovery of oil revenues from Iranian central bank foreign bank accounts for IRGC QF activities.
In February 2015, Reuters reported that despite sanctions, at least $ 1 billion had been smuggled into Iran. Before it reached Iran, the money was distributed through money changers and front companies in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, Reuters said.
Prior to reaching the 2015 nuclear agreement, front companies in Dubai flourished to facilitate payments to Iran. The use of several front companies that buys dollars from foreign exchange traders in Dubai and Iraq was preferred because it obscured the overall size of the dollar buying process.
Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Additional reporting by David Alexander; Arrangement by Bernadette Baum and Peter Cooney