US Treasury Advisory highlights Iranian airlines’ support of destabilizing activity
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an Iran-related Advisory to see the civil aviation industry of potential contact with U.S. Government enforcement actions and economic sanctions for participating in or supporting unauthorized transfers of aircraft or related goods, technology, or services to Iran or even to designated Iranian airlines.
“The Iranian regime uses commercial air companies to help expand the destabilizing agenda of terror groups just like the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its own Qods Force (IRGC-QF), also to fly fighters from their proxy militias over the region. The international civil aviation industry, including providers like general sales people, brokers, and title companies, must be on high aware of ensure they’re not complicit in Iran’s malign activities,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Financial and Terrorism Intelligence. “Insufficient adequate compliance controls could expose those operating in the civil aviation industry to significant risks, including criminal or civil enforcement actions or economic sanctions.”
The advisory provides info on the role many Iranian commercial air companies play in supporting the Iranian regime’s efforts to foment regional violence through terrorism, supplying weapons to its proxy militias and the Assad regime, along with other destabilizing activity. Iran has routinely relied upon certain Iranian commercial air companies to fly fighters and materiel to nations in furtherance of Iranian state-sponsored terror operations. In conducting these flights, these Iranian commercial air companies enable Iran’s military support for the Assad regime by delivering lethal materiel including weapons shipments, prolonging the brutal conflict and the suffering of an incredible number of Syrians.
For example, the advisory highlights Mahan Air, which plays an intrinsic role supporting the IRGC-QF and its own regional proxies by transporting foreign fighters, weapons, and funds. Mahan Air has transported IRGC-QF Commander Qasem Soleimani also, who’s sanctioned under US Security Council Resolution 2231 and at the mercy of a US travel ban. Since 2018, america has imposed economic sanctions on 11 individuals and entities which have provided support to, or acted for or with respect to, Mahan Air, including a bank providing financial services, front companies procuring spare aircraft parts, and general sales people providing services in Malaysia, Thailand, and Armenia. AMERICA designated Qeshm Fars Air also, a commercial cargo airline controlled by Mahan Air and an integral facilitator of the IRGC-QF’s malign activities in Syria, in early 2019 under terrorism authorities.
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In addition to transporting weapons and fighters for the IRGC-QF, Mahan Air has been utilized by the IRGC as recently as March 2019 to move bodies of fighters that are killed fighting in Syria back again to several airports in Iran (Photo: Iran’s Mashregh News and Javan Daily).
General sales people along with other entities that continue steadily to provide services to U.S.-designated Iranian airlines like Mahan Air remain vulnerable to sanctions actions. Potentially sanctionable activities — when conducted for or with respect to a designated person — could include:
• Financial services
&bull and reservations; Freight handling
&bull and booking; Procurement of aircraft equipment
&bull and parts; Maintenance
• Airline ground services
• Interline transfer and codeshare agreements
• Refueling contracts
The advisory also describes various deceptive practices utilized by the Iranian regime to evade sanctions and illicitly procure aircraft and aircraft parts which range from using front companies and unrelated general trading companies to falsifying or fabricating documentation associated with end-use or OFAC licenses. Intermediaries ought to be heightened aware of the practices highlighted in this advisory on.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.