WASHINGTON - The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on an Iraq-based affiliate of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, one more in a series of steps intended to pressure Tehran following President Donald Trump's decision last year to withdraw from the landmark nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
The Treasury Department said the penalties target the South Wealth Resources Company in Baghdad and two of its registered agents. It said the company and the two men are linked to the Guard's foreign wing, or Quds Force, and have trafficked hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of weapons to Shi’ite militias in Iraq.
“The Iraqi financial sector and the broader international financial system must harden their defenses against the continued deceptive tactics emanating from Tehran in order to avoid complicity” in the Guard's “ongoing sanctions evasion schemes and other malign activities,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The administration last month designated the Guard as a foreign terrorist organization, which makes providing it with material support illegal under U.S. law.
The new actions freeze any assets that the targets may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.
The announcement came as Japan's prime minister visited Iran in an effort to lower tensions between Washington and Tehran.