March 26, 2019

OFAC designations target Iranian foreign currency procurement network

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury has designated 25 individuals and entities pursuant to Executive Order 13224.  According to OFAC, the targets have facilitated the transfer of more than a billion dollars and euros to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).  Today’s action includes designation of MODAFL, which was first designated in 2007 pursuant to Executive Order 13382 for supporting Iran’s arms development, production and proliferation. 

Among the entities sanctioned today are Ansar Bank and Ansar Exchange, which are controlled by the IRGC.  The Bank was designated in 2010 pursuant to Executive Order 13382.  In a statement announcing the new designations, OFAC explained that the Iranian regime has used Ansar Bank to establish a network of front companies in Iran, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates in order to bypass sanctions and transfer dollars and euros to the Iranian regime.

As a result of these designations, all US property and property interests of the targets are blocked, and dealings with them by US persons are generally prohibited.  Unless an exception applies, foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate a significant transaction for any of the designated entities or individuals may be subject to US sanctions.

US Treasury press release