US Blacklists “Oil-for-Terror” Shipping Network

TankerIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

The United States has blacklisted an “oil-for-terror” shipping network allegedly directed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for providing millions of dollars worth of oil to Syria.

Additionally, a new international shipping advisory was issued on IRGC’s use of “deceptive shipping practices” to facilitate transactions, thereby violating U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil sales.

The authorities also said that persons that engage in certain transactions with the entities blacklisted “may themselves be exposed to designation”.

“Iran continues to take provocative actions to destabilize the region and the world. Treasury’s action against this sprawling petroleum network makes it explicitly clear that those purchasing Iranian oil are directly supporting Iran’s militant and terrorist arm, the IRGC-Qods Force,” Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, said.

“Our actions over the last two weeks should serve as a strong warning to anyone considering facilitating the Qods Force’s oil sales that there will be swift consequences,” Mnuchin added.

The U.S. noted that in spring 2019 alone, the IRGC-QF-led network employed more than a dozen vessels to transport nearly 10 million barrels of crude oil, predominantly to the Syrian regime. These shipments, taken collectively, sold for more than half a billion dollars. The same network also sold nearly 4 million barrels of condensate and hundreds of thousands of barrels in gas oil, “bringing in another quarter billion dollars.”

The latest designation from U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) includes some 16 entities and 10 individuals pursuant to E.O. 13224, and is also identifying 11 vessels as property in which blocked persons have an interest. The IRGC and Hizballah, both identified as Foreign Terrorist Organizations by the U.S. Department of State, are also designated pursuant to E.O. 13224.

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