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Monday July 22, 2024

US sanctions shadow banking network supporting Iran’s military

By AFP
June 26, 2024
US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo speaks at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Britain, October 27, 2023. — Reuters
US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo speaks at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Britain, October 27, 2023. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: The United States unveiled sweeping sanctions Tuesday against almost 50 individuals and companies it says were part of a “shadow banking” network that moved billions of dollars for Iran’s military.

The sanctions target a network of Iranian exchange houses and foreign firms that enabled Iran’s defence ministry and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to disguise revenues generated abroad, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Revenue was used to procure and develop advanced weapons systems like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and also fund regional proxies including Yemen’s Huthi rebels, the Treasury said.

“The United States is taking action against a vast shadow banking system used by Iran’s military to launder billions of dollars of oil proceeds and other illicit revenue,” Treasury deputy secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.

“We have sanctioned hundreds of targets involved in Iran’s illicit oil and petrochemical-related activity since President Biden took office, and we will continue to pursue those who seek to finance Iran’s destabilizing terrorist activities,” he added.

The sanctions unveiled Tuesday target companies and individuals around the world, including Iran, Turkey, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the tiny Pacific island nation of the Marshall Islands, which has a defence and security agreement with the United States.