The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has designated 30 individuals and entities pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for facilitating the sale of oil for the benefit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), which was designated in October 2007 for supporting terrorist groups.
Today’s designations center around Sitki Ayan, a Turkish businessman with close ties to senior IRGC-QF officials who has used an international network of companies to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of Iranian oil to buyers in China, the United Arab Emirates, Europe, and elsewhere and funnel the proceeds back to the IRGC-QF. Several entities owned or controlled by Ayan were also designated, along with senior members and employees of Ayan’s group of companies, Ayan’s son, a shipping company and a liquefied natural gas tanker used to transport fuel on behalf of the IRGC-QF.
As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons. In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by a designated person or entity are also blocked, and foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct significant transactions for the designated entities risk exposure to sanctions.