The United States sanctioned dual Iranian and Iraqi national Amir Dianat, a longtime associate of senior officials of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, and Taif Mining Services LLC, a company owned, controlled or directed by Dianat, announced the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday.
“The Iranian regime and its supporters continue to prioritize the funding of international terrorist organizations over the health and well-being of the Iranian people,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “The United States remains committed to working with financial institutions, nonprofit organizations and international partners to facilitate humanitarian trade and assistance to the Iranian people.”
Dianat, an associate of Quds Force officials Behnam Shahriyari and Rostam Ghasemi, has allegedly supported Quds Force smuggling operations for several years, including efforts aimed at the shipment of weapons including missiles.
The Quds Force has allegedly relied on Dianat to secure entry for vessels carrying its shipments and has used his business connections to facilitate logistics requirements. Dianat has allegedly been directly involved in Quds Force efforts to smuggle shipments from Iran to Yemen.
Dianat has also allegedly been involved in developing additional illicit business opportunities to generate revenue for the Quds Force, and in 2019, leveraged Taif Mining Services to procure an oil tanker.
The latest round of sanctions exemplifies the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran since withdrawing the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, along with enacting new financial penalties on the regime.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia filed criminal charges against Dianat and one of his business associates for alleged violations of sanctions and money-laundering laws, and filed a related civil-forfeiture action alleging that approximately $12 million is subject to retrieval as funds involved in these crimes and as assets of the IRGC, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.