The United States on Friday imposed new sanctions on Iran, targeting an Omani businessman and companies to whom he's connected over allegations of involvement in an oil-smuggling network supporting the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC-QF).
The measures come as talks to revive the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers have slowed down after the new administration led by President Ibrahim Raisi came into office in Tehran earlier this month.
The department's Office of Foreign Assets Control says the financial action targets Mahmood Rashid Amur al-Habsi, an Omani broker who allegedly partnered with the Quds Force officials to send shipments of Iranian oil to foreign customers.
He “facilitated shipments of Iranian oil to foreign customers, including buyers in East Asia," Andrea M Gacki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury, said in a statement. “The IRGC-QF is using revenues from its Iranian petroleum sales to fund its malign activities at the expense of the Iranian people."
She added that “these sales rely on key foreign intermediaries to obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement, and the Treasury will continue to disrupt and expose anyone supporting these efforts.”
The new Sanctions will apply to four companies in Al Habsi’s shipping network – two firms based in Oman, one in Liberia and one in Romania.