The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday issued new sanctions against an international organization involved in oil smuggling with connections to Iran.
The Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement that the network was established by several Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials to sell Iranian oil on behalf of the group and Hezbollah. According to the office, the network is run by a Revolutionary Guard official, Behnam Shahriyari, along with a former Revolutionary Guard official.
The office also says that the network is "backed by senior levels of the Russian Federation government and state-run economic organs," and "has acted as a critical element of Iran's oil revenue generation, as well as its support for proxy militant groups that continue to perpetuate conflict and suffering throughout the region."
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement: "The United States remains fully committed to holding the Iranian regime accountable for its support to terrorist proxies that destabilize the Middle East. While the United States continues to seek a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will not hesitate to target those who provide a critical lifeline of financial support and access to the international financial system for the Qods Force or Hizballah. In particular, the United States will continue to strictly enforce sanctions on Iran's illicit oil trade. Anyone purchasing oil from Iran faces the prospect of U.S. sanctions."
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