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U.S. blacklists oil shipping network allegedly run by Iran Revolutionary Guards

U.S. blacklists oil shipping network allegedly run by Iran Revolutionary Guards
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin walks to a working breakfast at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo -
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday sanctioned a sprawling network of firms, ships and individuals allegedly directed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that supplied Syria with oil worth tens of millions of dollars in a breach of U.S. sanctions.

The individuals included a former Iranian oil minister and his son, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. Also hit were subsidiaries of an Indian firm with an interest in the Adrian Darya, the Iranian tanker that has been cruising the Mediterranean since its release from detention by authorities in Gibraltar in July, it said.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control action froze any assets in the United States of the designated entities and generally prohibited any U.S. citizens or companies from doing business with them.

The department said that the Qods Force, the IRGC’s elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm, and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia movement, profited financially by supplying Iranian oil and petroleum products, mostly to Syria, that this spring alone were worth more than $750 million.

“Treasury’s action against this sprawling petroleum network makes it explicitly clear that those purchasing Iranian oil are directly supporting Iran’s militants and terrorist arm, the IRGC-Qods Force,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay and Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Chizu Nomiyama)

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