UAE, US act jointly to disrupt funding to elite Iran group
The UAE and the United States have taken action jointly to disrupt an extensive currency exchange network that has procured and transferred millions of dollars to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).
Sanctions have been imposed on six individuals and three companies in the UAE where the front companies were located, a statement said.
State news agency WAM said the move reflects the UAE’s determination to disrupt all terror-related networks and the sponsors of terrorist activities and comes following close collaboration between the UAE and the United States.
The UAE Cabinet said it has issued Ministerial Resolution No 24 for 2018 designating the entities and individuals on its list of terrorists and terror organisations.
The US and UAE accused Iran’s central bank of helping the group access US dollars held in foreign banks to sidestep Western sanctions.
“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,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The IRGC is Iran’s most powerful security entity and has control over large stakes in Iran’s economy and a huge influence in its political system. The Quds Force is an elite unit in charge of the IRGC’s overseas operations.
The crackdown comes just days after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Trump’s decision has given grace periods of 90 days to six months for companies to wind down their trade with Iran.