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U.S. sanctions imposed on alleged Iran-linked oil smuggling network

Author: Dr. Angelika Hellweger  7 November 2022

Angelika Hellweger of Rahman Ravelli details OFAC’s latest action targeting Iran.

The United States imposed sanctions on members of an international smuggling network that is accused of circumventing sanctions and generating revenue for Lebanese group Hezbollah and a branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The designations targeted what the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said was a Gulf-based group of individuals and front companies that used storage units in the United Arab Emirates’ port of Sharjah and blended products of Indian origin with Iranian oil. The companies then modified or created counterfeit certificates of origin and quality for the blended oil in order to hide its Iranian origin. The oil, according to OFAC, was then transferred for sale abroad.

OFAC designated six individuals, a global network of 17 entities and 11 vessels that were said to be involved in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil on behalf of Hezbollah and the IRGC’s Quds Force. The oil-smuggling network was sanctioned under Executive Order 13224, which targets alleged terrorists, terrorist organisations, leaders and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists.

In recent months, the US has imposed punitive measures targeting Iran with increasing frequency. This can be seen as an attempt to force Iran to negotiate a new agreement that would, in effect, revive the 2015 nuclear deal that saw Iran accept restrictions on its nuclear programme. The US withdrew from that deal in 2018, saying it did not adequately limit Iran’s missile programme.

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Dr. Angelika Hellweger

Legal Director

angelika.hellweger@rahmanravelli.co.uk
+44 (0)203 597 9783 vCard

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Angelika is a specialist in international, high-level economic crime investigations and large-scale commercial disputes. She has widely-recognised expertise in representing corporates and conglomerates in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and United States.

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