The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Wednesday sanctioned Iran’s top air and maritime transportation firms accused of collaborating in an arms trafficking network that benefits Middle Eastern terrorist groups.
The measure announced by the Treasury Department includes the Mahan Air airline and several shipping companies.
Mahan Air has transported IRGC-QF operatives, weapons, equipment and funds overseas in support of IRGC-QF regional operations, and has also transferred arms and personnel for Hezbollah.
Last August, Mahan Air inaugurated a direct flight between Tehran and Caracas, lasting 16 hours, and several media outlets denounced that the main objective was the transfer of officials of Nicolás Maduro’s regime to make a stopover to other continents.
“The Iranian regime uses its aviation and shipping industries to supply arms to its terrorist groups and regional militants, directly contributing to the devastating humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
“The aviation and shipping industries must be vigilant and not allow their industries to be exploited by terrorists,” he added.
In addition to the entities and sanctions vessels, there is also an individual, Abdolhossein Khedri, who according to the U.S. government has made his companies available to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to “support maritime arms smuggling operations.”
The designations were made pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those who provide support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. In addition, Decree 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction developers and their facilitators, was also mentioned.