March 8, 2024

OFAC sanctions additional shipping companies and vessels for transporting Iranian commodities

On March 6, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated two shipping companies and two vessels that reportedly shipped commodities as part of a network used by Sa’id al-Jamal, a Houthi financial facilitator backed by the Iran-based Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (“IRGC-QF”).  OFAC designated Marshall Islands-based Reneez Shipping Limited and Hong Kong-based Hongkong Unitop Group Ltd in connection with the transport of Iranian commodities for al-Jamal’s network.  OFAC also identified two vessels– the Reneez and the Eternal Fortune – as blocked property in which the newly-designated companies have an interest.  According to OFAC, while transporting Iranian commodities, the Eternal Fortune conducted a ship-to-ship transfer with the Artura, a vessel also tied to al-Jamal’s network.  On February 27, 2024, OFAC identified the Artura and designated two other shipping companies based in Hong-Kong and the Marshall Islands for their roles in the shipment of Iranian commodities on behalf of al-Jamal.  Al-Jamal has been designated in the United States since 2021 for supporting the IRGC-QF.  The IRGC-QF has been designated in the United States since 2007 for supporting multiple terrorist groups.

These designations were imposed pursuant to the counterterrorism authority in Executive Order 13224, as amended.  As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons 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 a designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release