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The United States has announced new economic sanctions targeting individuals and companies implicated in facilitating illicit financial activities for Iran’s military.

The Treasury rolled out sanctions on 50 entities and individuals across Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and the Marshall Islands, accusing them of operating a “sprawling shadow banking network” that aids Iran’s military. According to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, these sanctions target those involved in the sale of Iranian oil and petrochemicals.

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In their release, the treasury department said that these illicit transactions assist in “the provision of weapons and funding to Iran’s regional proxy groups, including Yemen’s Houthis, who continue a campaign of reckless attacks on global shipping, as well as the transfer of UAVs to Russia for use in its war of aggression against Ukraine.”

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Among those sanctioned are Seyyed Mohammad Mosanna’i Najibi, an Iranian-Turkish money-changer, and 27 cover companies controlled by Najibi in Hong Kong, the UAE, and the Marshall Islands. Additionally, a Tehran-based currency exchange business is also listed. Attempts to reach Najibi’s company, Sadaf Exchange, for comment were unsuccessful.

Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, “The United States is taking action against a vast shadow banking system used by Iran’s military to launder billions of dollars of oil proceeds and other illicit revenue. We have sanctioned hundreds of targets involved in Iran’s illicit oil and petrochemical-related activity since President Biden took office, and we will continue to pursue those who seek to finance Iran’s destabilizing terrorist activities. We continue to work with allies and partners, as well as the global financial industry, to increase vigilance against the movement of funds supporting terrorism.”

The sanctions prohibit the targeted individuals and firms from accessing any property or financial assets within the United States and ban US companies and citizens from engaging in business with them.


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