WASHINGTON (CN) – Alleging aid to the Iranian missile program and other military efforts, the Treasury Department slapped new sanctions Wednesday on two business networks with ties to Tehran.
The Treasury Department said it worked with the FBI on the probe, finding that a group of businesses and Iranian nationals had used a front company based in Hong Kong to get around U.S. sanctions and buy $10 million in U.S. military equipment for Iranian entities accused of aiding the country’s weapons program.
The Dehghan Network, named for two Iranians who allegedly led the operation, is said to have helped obtain $1 million in “military-grade electronic components” for an Iranian engineering company and other military clients sanctioned by the United States.
Treasury officials hit the engineering company, Rastafann Engineering, with sanctions in October 2017 for its ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Naval Defence Missile Industry Group, both of which are themselves subject to sanctions.
“As the Iranian regime attempts to use complex schemes to hide its efforts to bolster its WMD program, the U.S. government will continue to thwart them at every turn,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in a statement Wednesday. “We urge governments worldwide to recognize the extraordinary lengths to which the regime in Tehran will go to conceal its behavior, and to ensure that their companies and financial institutions are not facilitating Iran’s proliferation activities.”
The Treasury Department says the other network, which it calls the Shariat Network, helped buy “large amounts of aluminum alloy products” for Iranian companies that are under U.S. sanctions.
Wednesday’s sanctions block all property the people and companies subject to the sanctions own in the United States and require the property be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The action also prevents people in the United States from making any transactions involving sanctioned properties, or risk facing sanctions themselves.