October 23, 2020

OFAC issues Iran-related designations to groups attempting to influence US presidential election

On October 22, 2020, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the designation of five Iranian entities for attempting to spread disinformation among US voters, in order to influence elections in the US.  According to OFAC, groups affiliated with the Government of Iran, have targeted US voters disguised as news organizations and media outlets, to sow discord and disrupt the US democratic processes.  Because of this interference, the Treasury Department encourages all Americans to confirm that any information received via social media comes from a reliable news source, particularly if the information originates outside of the US.

OFAC designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), and Bayan Rasaneh Gostar Institute, pursuant to Executive Order 13848, for engaging in or being complicit in foreign interference in the 2020 US presidential election.  OFAC also designated the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union and the International Union of Virtual Media, pursuant to EO 13848, for being owned or controlled by the IRGC – QF.  The IRGC-QF, and the IRGC, have been sanctioned by OFAC and other authorities since 2007.  

As a result of these designations, all US property is blocked, and all transactions with these entities are generally prohibited.  In addition, any entity in the US that is owned fifty percent or more by a sanctioned entity is also blocked, and any foreign financial institution that knowingly conducts transactions on behalf of a designated entity, could be subject to US sanctions.

Department of the Treasury Press Release