New Iran-related US sanctions include companies and individuals in Turkey

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President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shakes hands with President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani (R) before their meeting as the 13th Economy Cooperation Organization Summit continues in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 1, 2017. Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

The United States on Tuesday imposed fresh sanctions on a network of companies and individuals in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates it said was transferring billions of dollars and euros to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, Aljazeera reported on Tuesday.

The US Treasury said it was blacklisting 25 people and entities, including front companies based in the three countries, associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).

“We are targeting a vast network of front companies and individuals located in Iran, Turkey, and the UAE to disrupt a scheme the Iranian regime has used to illicitly move more than a billion dollars in funds,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The sanctions seek to lock those named out of the global financial system by banning US citizens and US businesses — including international banks with a US presence — from doing business with them.

Mnuchin said the IRGC and MODAFL continued to try to evade sanctions to help Iran’s government fund terrorism and destabilize the Middle East.

“Any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to US sanctions,” the Treasury warned.

“This vast network is just the latest example of the Iranian regime’s use of deceptive practices to exploit the global financial system and divert resources to sanctioned entities,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker.

Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported that Mandelker said they expect Turkey to “aggressively” implement sanctions targeting Iran.

Speaking to a group of journalists via teleconference, Mandelker responded to a question by DW, saying, “We don’t want to see companies or countries knowingly or unknowingly get trapped in networks we believe to be schemes by the Iranian regime.”

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