WASHINGTON, The US and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) jointly took action Thursday to disrupt an extensive currency exchange network in Iran and the UAE that has “procured and transferred millions in US 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 Department of Treasury said in a statement that specifically, its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated nine Iranian individuals and entities.
“Iran’s Central Bank was complicit in the IRGC-QF’s scheme and actively supported this network’s currency conversion and enabled its access to funds that it held in its foreign bank accounts. This network of exchangers and couriers has converted hundreds of millions of dollars,” the Treasury stressed.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in this regard, that the Iranian regime and its Central Bank “have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire US 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 US dollars were acquired.” He added “today we are targeting Iranian individuals and front companies engaged in a large-scale currency exchange network that has procured and transferred millions to the IRGC-QF.” “The Treasury Department thanks the UAE for its close collaboration on this matter. 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,” he remarked.
As a result of these actions, “all property and interests in property of those designated today subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them,” the Treasury noted.
It added that foreign financial institutions “that knowingly facilitate significant transactions for, or persons that provide material or certain other support to, the individuals and entities designated today risk exposure to sanctions that could sever their access to the US financial system or block their property and interests in property under US jurisdiction.” Due to President Donald Trump’s decision to cease the US’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “as of August 7, 2018, the United States Government will re-impose sanctions on the purchase or acquisition of US dollar banknotes by the Government of Iran,” the Treasury announced.
Source: Kuwait News Agency