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OFAC Designates 20 Iran And Iraq Based Firms For Alleged Ties To Islamic Terrorism

Last week the Federal government announced sanctions against almost two dozen companies based in Iran and Iraq on allegations that they serve as front companies for Iranian terrorism.

On Thursday the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against the 20 companies, their officers, and business associates, alleging that they act to mask the actions of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). In addition, the Office says the group provides “lethal aid” to Iran-based terror groups Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), both of whom are active in neighboring Iraq.

OFAC says the group is involved in a wide range of nefarious dealings, including smuggling, money laundering, selling Iranian oil to Syria, and transporting weaponry to rebels in Iraq and Yemen. The designated firms also allegedly threaten Iraqi politicians and propagandize in favor of Iranian rebels in Iraq as well, some of which is funded by donations given to the organization by donors who believe it to be acting to promote strictly religious ends.

One of the sanctioned firms is alleged by OFAC to have received millions of dollars in transfers from Iran’s central bank, which was designated by the Office last fall, which went to support IRGC-QF and Lebanese Hizballah, who are both also under designation by OFAC.

In a separate action, OFAC simultaneously designated another Iraq-based firm operating at the port of Umm Qasr. Per OFAC, the company has a financial stake in the company, which it says has evaded the Iraqi government’s inspection protocol and has charged importers fees for use of its terminals.

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