NATIONAL NEWS

US sanctions financial network tied to Iranian oil sales

Nov 29, 2023, 8:21 AM

FILE - The Treasury Building is viewed in Washington, May 4, 2021. The U.S. on Wednesday imposed a ...

FILE - The Treasury Building is viewed in Washington, May 4, 2021. The U.S. on Wednesday imposed a new round of sanctions on a group of 20 people and firms allegedly involved in a financial facilitation network for the benefit of the Iranian military. The Treasury Department sanctions impact firms and people spanning from Hong Kong to the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Wednesday said it imposed a new round of sanctions on a group of 20 people and firms allegedly involved in a financial facilitation network for the benefit of the Iranian military.

The Treasury Department sanctions impact firms and people spanning Hong Kong to the United Arab Emirates.

Included in the sanctions package are employees, brokers and purchasers from Iranian firm Sepehr Energy, which is also subject to sanctions.

The U.S. alleges that Sepehr acts as a front company for the Iranian government’s oil sales, which “fund its destabilizing regional activities and support of multiple regional proxy groups,” including Hamas and Hezbollah, according to a Treasury statement.

A representative from Sepehr Energy did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

The sanctions block access to U.S. property and bank accounts and prevent the targeted people and companies from doing business with Americans.

Iran engages in “illicit finance schemes to generate funds to fan conflict and spread terror throughout the region,” said Brian E. Nelson, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“The United States remains committed to exposing elements of the Iranian military and its complicit partners abroad to disrupt this critical source of funds,” he said.

The White House has said it has yet to uncover information that Iran, the principal financial and military sponsor of Hamas, was directly involved in the multipronged operation against Israel on Oct. 7.

However, the U.S. has conducted strikes over the last several weeks against Iranian-tied weapons depots in Syria to retaliate for dozens of rocket and drone attacks that militant groups have launched since Oct. 7 against U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria.

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US sanctions financial network tied to Iranian oil sales