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US Sanctions Key Actors in Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program

WorldUS Sanctions Key Actors in Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program

Washington (Times Of Ocean)- U.S. Treasury announced sanctions on Wednesday on an Iranian man and a network of companies it blames for helping Tehran obtain materials for its ballistic missile program.

The action came after missile attacks by suspected Iranian-backed proxies on countries in the region.

In a statement issued as talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have stalled, the U.S. Treasury Department said “today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned an Iran-based procurement agent and his network of companies that procured ballistic missile propellant-related materials for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Research and Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization (IRGC RSSJO), the IRGC unit responsible for the research and development of ballistic missiles, as well as Iran’s Parchin Chemical Industries (PCI), an element of Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO). OFAC is also taking action against a key Iranian intermediary involved in the procurement of parts used to develop missile propellant on behalf of PCI.”

As part of the sanctions, the Treasury listed Iranian procurement agent Mohammad Ali Hosseini and a network of companies it accused of supplying Iran with ballistic missile propellant and other materials for its missile program.

“He procured ballistic missile research and development materials for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to the Treasury Department.

US sanctions are in place against the IRGC.

Under condition of anonymity, the official said, the sanctions were not related to efforts to revive the nuclear deal, under which Iran limited its nuclear program so that it would be harder to develop a nuclear bomb – an aim it denies – in exchange for relief from global economic sanctions.

“While the United States continues to seek Iran’s return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will not hesitate to target those who support Iran’s ballistic missile program,” the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in the statement.


READ THE STATEMENT BELOW:

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned an Iran-based procurement agent and his network of companies that procured ballistic missile propellant-related materials for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Research and Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization (IRGC RSSJO), the IRGC unit responsible for the research and development of ballistic missiles, as well as Iran’s Parchin Chemical Industries (PCI), an element of Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO).  OFAC is also taking action against a key Iranian intermediary involved in the procurement of parts used to develop missile propellant on behalf of PCI.

Today’s action follows Iran’s missile attack on Erbil, Iraq on March 13 and the Iranian enabled Houthi missile attack against a Saudi Aramco facility on March 25 as well as other missile attacks by Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and are a reminder that Iran’s development and proliferation of ballistic missiles continues to pose a serious threat to international security.

“This action reinforces the United States’ commitment to preventing the Iranian regime’s development and use of advanced ballistic missiles,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson.  “While the United States continues to seek Iran’s return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will not hesitate to target those who support Iran’s ballistic missile program.  We will also work with other partners in the region to hold Iran accountable for its actions, including gross violations of the sovereignty of its neighbors.”

Treasury’s actions are being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters.  The Department of State designated the IRGC RSSJO pursuant to E.O. 13382 on July 18, 2017 for its role in the research and development of ballistic missiles.  PCI was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on July 8, 2008 for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s DIO, an Iranian arms manufacturer.

Mohmmad Ali Hosseini and His Procurement Network

Iranian procurement agent Mohammad Ali Hosseini has utilized a network of companies, including Iran-based Jestar Sanat Delijan and Sina Composite Delijan Company, to procure ballistic missile propellant and related materials in support of Iran’s missile program.  Hosseini has been personally involved in high-level meetings and traveled with senior IRGC RSSJO officials and, in his role as the manager of Sina Composite, procured processing machines for nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) from China using falsified shipping documents.  Hosseini personally arranged for the purchase and shipment of NBR processing machines, as well as an inert gas jet milling system from Chinese suppliers.  Jet mills, also known as fluid energy mills, are used in the production of solid missile propellant.  Sayehban Sepehr Delijan, a company also controlled by Hosseini, acted as the co-signee for the NBR shipment.  Sepehr Delijan has also previously positioned itself as a company willing to assist in the export of petroleum products from Iran and the import of advanced technologies.

Mohammad Ali Hosseini is being designated for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the IRGC RSSJO and PCI.

Sina Composite is being designated for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the IRGC RSSJO.

Sepehr Delijan and Jestar Sanat are being designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Mohammad Ali Hosseini.

Procurement Intermediary for Parchin Chemical Industries

Today’s action also targets P.B. Sadr Co. which has acted on behalf of PCI as a key intermediary to procure parts that are used to develop missile propellant.  PCI has procured centrifuge spare parts used in the production of ballistic missile propellant valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from suppliers in China.  Tehran-based P.B. Sadr Co. served as the recipient of the centrifuge components on PCI’s behalf.  P.B. Sadr Co. is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, PCI.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action. Furthermore, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from its ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897, here. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please here.

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