On October 29, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated a total of four individuals and two entities for their support of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its clandestine unit, the IRGC Qods Force (IRGC-QF). OFAC designated the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force (IRGC ASF) UAV Command Saeed Aghajani. The remaining five parties, comprised of three individuals and two entities that they supported or controlled, were designated for being members of a network that provided critical support to the IRGC’s and IRGC-QF’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) programs. OFAC reports that lethal UAVs, which have been proliferated by the IRGC-QF for use by multiple Iran-supported groups across the region, have been used to attack numerous international shipping vessels and US forces. According to OFAC, Aghajani was responsible for a UAV attack against a Saudi Arabian oil refinery in 2019.
The IRGC, including the IRGC ASF that Aghajani oversees, was designated in 2017 pursuant to the counterterrorism authority Executive Order 13224, as amended, and the IRGC-QF was designated under EO 13224 in 2007. Consequently, Aghajani was designated pursuant EO 13224, as amended, for acting on behalf of the IRGC ASF. One network member and the entity that he supported were also designated under EO 13224, as amended. OFAC designated the remaining two network members and the entity that they managed, pursuant to EO 13882 that targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters. Incidentally, the IRGC was also designated in 2007 pursuant to EO 13882 for its role in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of today’s designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons. In addition, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for a sanctioned person could have its access to the US financial system severed.