U.S. Treasury Sanctions Malaysia-Based Air Service Provider for Ties to Iran

An airplane of Mahan Air sits at the tarmac after landing at Sanaa International Airport in the Yemeni capital on March 1, 2015 a day after officials from the Shiite militia-controlled city signed an aviation agreement with Tehran. Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled last weekend an effective house …
MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Malaysia-based General Sales Agent (GSA) on Monday for collaborating with and acting on behalf of Iran’s government-operated and U.S.-sanctioned Mahan Air.

Mahan Air also faces sanctions for ties to terrorism.

Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd, based in Malaysia, was sanctioned for “enabling Mahan Air’s international operations, especially in regards to conducting financial transactions on behalf of the airline,” according to the Treasury Department’s website.

As of Monday, all the property and interests of Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd located within the U.S. jurisdiction have been blocked, in accordance with U.S. law.

Washington had previously sanctioned Mahan Air for allegedly transporting “operatives” of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in addition to shuffling weapons and equipment to Syria. The United States has also sanctioned Caspian Air, Meraj Air, Pouya Air, and Dena Airways – all Iranian airlines, two of which had allegedly ferried weapons, fighters, and money to Iran’s proxies in Syria and Lebanon.

The IRGC, also known as the Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution or Sepah, is a branch of Iran’s Armed Forces that was founded after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 with the ousting of Iran’s last Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The IRGC has meddled in Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and Turkey to sow chaos in the Middle East region since it came to power after the revolution.

In October, Breitbart News compiled a “brief timeline” of IRGC-sponsored terrorism since 1979.

Also in October, President Donald Trump authorized the Treasury Department to sanction the IRGC as a terrorist organization under terrorism Executive Order 13224, a move he said was “long overdue.”

Upon announcing the new sanctions, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Mahan Air is the airline of choice for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, facilitating its support to terrorism across the Middle East.”

He added, “Mahan’s regular flights to Syria are used to prop up the Assad regime and deliver weapons, foreign fighters, and Iranian operatives who sow violence and unrest across the region.” Mnuchin reiterated that “the United States government has been very clear [that] companies that continue to service Mahan aircraft, or facilitate Mahan flights in and out of airports in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, are on notice that they do so at great financial risk.”

The Treasury Department has brought a series of sanctions against Iran recently. Last month, the U.S. threatened to sanction countries that continue to buy oil from Iran after November 4.

“We view this as one of our top national security priorities,” a senior State Department official reportedly said.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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