The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated dual Iranian and Iraqi national Amir Dianat, a longtime associate of senior officials of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Dianat, who is also known as Ameer Abdulazeez Jaafar Almthaje, is involved in IRGC-QF efforts to generate revenue and smuggle weapons abroad.
OFAC is also designating Taif Mining Services LLC, a company owned, controlled, or directed by Dianat. Concurrent with OFAC's action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia filed criminal charges against Dianat and one of his business associates for violations of sanctions and money laundering laws, and filed a related civil forfeiture action alleging that approximately $12 million is subject to forfeiture as funds involved in these crimes and as assets of a foreign terrorist organization.
"The Iranian regime and its supporters continue to prioritize the funding of international terrorist organizations over the health and well-being of the Iranian people," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "The United States remains committed to working with financial institutions, non-profit organizations, and international partners to facilitate humanitarian trade and assistance to the Iranian people."
Today's action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended by E.O. 13886, follows recent designations of key networks that support the IRGC-QF's destabilizing regional activity. In December 2019, OFAC designated an Iranian shipping network involved in smuggling lethal aid from Iran to Yemen on behalf of the IRGC-QF. In March 2020, OFAC designated 20 Iran- and Iraq-based front companies, senior officials, and business associates that provided support to or acted for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF, which included transferring lethal aid to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq.
Dianat, an associate of IRGC-QF officials Behnam Shahriyari and Rostam Ghasemi, has supported IRGC-QF smuggling operations for several years, including efforts aimed at the shipment of weapons including missiles. The IRGC-QF has relied on Dianat to secure entry for vessels carrying IRGC-QF shipments and has used his business connections to facilitate logistics requirements. Dianat has been directly involved in IRGC-QF efforts to smuggle shipments from Iran to Yemen.
Dianat has been involved in developing additional illicit business opportunities to generate revenue for the IRGC-QF, and in 2019, leveraged Taif Mining Services LLC, a company under his control, to procure an oil tanker.
Amir Dianat is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF.
Taif Mining Services LLC is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Amir Dianat.
As a result of today's action, all property and interests in property of these persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC's regulations generally prohibit all dealing by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interest in property of blocked or designated persons. In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the persons designated today may themselves be exposed to designation. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for individuals and entities designated in connection with Iran's support for international terrorism or any Iranian person on OFAC's List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons could be subject to U.S. correspondent account or payable-through account sanctions.
(Source: US Treasury Dept)