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US sanctions 9 Iranians, entities over currency exchange network
13 May 2018, 12:53 | Darnell Patrick
US Treasury slaps new sanctions on Iranian figures, entities
They said the central bank had given the orders to the front companies overseas to buy dollars.
The six individuals and three entities were sanctioned under United States regulations targeting specially designated global terrorist suspects and Iranian financial activity, the Treasury Department said in a statement on its website.
The United States has imposed its first sanctions on nine Iranian individuals and entities, just days after President Trump's announcement to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Reuters described the IRGC as Iran's "most powerful security entity", with control over a large share of Iran's economy. The UAE, where companies facilitating the money laundering were located, but the same people and entities on its list of terrorists and terror organizations that do business with the IRGC-QF.
Trump complained that the agreement failed to address Iran's ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 or its role in conflicts in the Middle East, where Tehran has been involved in a proxy war from Lebanon to Yemen for decades.
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Trump's decision has given grace periods of 90 days to six months for companies to wind down their trade with Iran.
Peter Harrell, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said that given worldwide opposition to the US withdrawal and "scant global support for renewed sanctions", Trump would face formidable challenges.
Trump's move undercut more than a decade and a half of diplomacy by Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia and past U.S. administration, which had resulted in the deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. "Today we are targeting Iranian individuals and front companies engaged in a large-scale currency exchange network that has procured and transferred millions to the IRGC-QF".
The use of multiple front companies, which bought dollars from currency traders in Dubai and Iraq, was preferred as it concealed the overall size of the dollar-purchasing operation.
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