U.S. and UAE sanction entities connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

U.S. and UAE sanction entities connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guard

May 10 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury Department announced joint sanctions Thursday with the United Arab Emirates on entities accused of funding “malign activities” carried out by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Treasury imposed the sanctions on nine Iranians and companies it said were operating a corrupt currency exchange network in the United Arab Emirates with complicity from Iran’s Central Bank.

The large currency network in Iran and UAE has “procured and transferred millions in U.S. dollar-denominated bulk cash to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to fund its malign activities and regional proxy groups,” the U.S. Department of Treasury said in a news release.

“The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire U.S. dollars to fund the IRGC-QF’s ‘malign activities,’ including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the U.S. dollars were acquired,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “The Treasury Department thanks the UAE for its close collaboration on this matter.”

Mnuchin added: “Countries around the world must be vigilant against Iran’s efforts to exploit their financial institutions to exchange currency and fund the nefarious actors of the IRGC-QF and the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.”

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which he called “defective at its core.” Trump added that the United States would institute “the highest level of economic sanctions” on Iran.

The deal — called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and agreed upon with China, Russia, Germany, France, Britain and the European Union — was reached under the Obama administration, but Trump has described the deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran in return for limits on its nuclear program, as “terrible” and has said it contains “disastrous flaws.”