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US Sanctions Iraqi Firm for Trafficking Arms for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

US Sanctions Iraqi Firm for Trafficking Arms for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

Wednesday, 12 June, 2019 - 17:00
Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The United States imposed on Wednesday sanctions against an Iraqi company, saying it is an important weapons trafficking and financial front for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The US Treasury said the company, Manabea Tharwat al-Janoob General Trading Company, was used by the IRGC to smuggle "hundreds of millions of dollars' worth" of weapons to IRGC allies in Iraq.

South Wealth Resources has also helped move millions of dollars to Iraq "for illicit financial activity benefitting" the IRGC and Iraq militias it supports.

The company and two Iraqis who worked with it were placed on the US sanctions blacklist, which seeks to lock them out of the international financial system by forbidding Americans and companies with US units, particularly banks, from doing business with them.

The company and the two Iraqis, Makki Kazim Abd Al Hamid Al Asadi and Muhammed Husayn Salih al-Hasani, were also placed on the US State Department's list of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists."

"Treasury is taking action to shut down Iranian weapons smuggling networks that have been used to arm regional proxies of the IRGC Quds Force in Iraq, while personally enriching regime insiders," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"The Iraqi financial sector and the broader international financial system must harden their defenses against the continued deceptive tactics emanating from Tehran in order to avoid complicity in the IRGC's ongoing sanctions evasion schemes and other malign activities," he said.

Washington last month designed the Guard as a foreign terrorist organization, which makes providing it with material support illegal under US law.

The new actions freeze any assets that the targets may have in US jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

The announcement came as Japan's prime minister visited Iran in an effort to lower tensions between Washington and Tehran.

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