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US Announces Sanctions Against Malaysian Sales Agent

FILE - Yemeni airport, security and transportation officials greet a plane from the Iranian private airline, Mahan Air after it lands at the international airport in Sana'a, Yemen, March 1, 2015.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Monday that it would sanction Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian sales agent for Iranian airline Mahan Air.

In 2011, under the administration of then-president Barack Obama, the department sanctioned the airline, claiming it had provided travel services to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force — a group that had been designated a terrorist supporter in 2007 for providing support to the Taliban.

As part of the 2011 sanctions, the airline was forbidden from financial and commercial activity with the U.S., and its assets within the country were frozen.

"The United States government has been very clear about the deadly role played by Mahan Air," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "Our action … makes it clear to all in the aviation industry that they urgently need to sever all ties and distance themselves immediately from this airline."

According to the statement, as a result of Monday's sanctions, the sales agent's properties inside or coming within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.

In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mahan Air had purchased airplane parts such as engines from U.S. manufacturers through the use of Turkish shell companies, circumventing the sanctions.