By Jubin Katiraie
The United States and six Gulf states sanctioned businesses and individuals working for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanese Hizballah.
The designations were handed down on Wednesday by the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), which was created by US President Donald Trump in 2017 during a trip to Saudi Arabia. The United States, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- work against terrorism financing, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The Treasury said in a statement: “The seven-member nations of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) jointly designated 25 targets affiliated with the Iranian regime’s terror-support networks in the region. This is the TFTC’s largest joint designation to date and is focused on entities supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s regional proxy, Hizballah. Several of the businesses targeted in this action are providing financial support to the Basij Resistance Force (Basij), a paramilitary force subordinate to the IRGC that have long been used as shock troops by the regime to oppress domestic opposition with brutal displays of violence, while also recruiting, training and deploying fighters to fight in IRGC-fueled conflicts across the region.”
“The TFTC’s coordinated disruption of the financial networks used by the Iranian regime to fund terrorism is a powerful demonstration of Gulf unity," Mnuchin said. "This action demonstrates the unified position of the Gulf nations and the United States that Iran will not be allowed to escalate its malign activity in the region."
“Twenty-one of these targets comprised a vast network of businesses providing financial support to the Basij Resistance Force (Basij). The Iran-based network Bonyad Taavon Basij, translated as the “Basij Cooperative Foundation,” employs shell companies and other measures to mask Basij ownership and control over a variety of multibillion-dollar business interests in Iran’s automotive, mining, metals, and banking industries, many of which have significant international dealings across the Middle East and Europe.”
The other four designated targets are linked to Hezbollah-affiliated individuals "who lead and coordinate the group’s operational, intelligence and financial activities in Iraq," the department said.