us-sanctions 07 May 2020

US sanctions Iranian-Iraqi businessman and his company for links with Iran’s Qods Force

The United States has imposed sanctions on an Iranian-Iraqi businessman and his mining company, accusing him of smuggling weapons and generating revenues for Iran’s elite Qods Force, part of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The US Treasury Department said that Amir Dianat, a dual national also known as Ameer Abdulazeez Jaafar Almthaje, was involved in ‘smuggling operations for several years’ on behalf of the Qods Force, including efforts to ship missiles and other weapons from Iran to Tehran-backed militias in Yemen. Dianat’s Oman-based company, Taif Mining Services LLC was also blacklisted by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’) as a ‘Qods Force front company’.

Meanwhile, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia filed criminal charges against Dianat and one of his business associates ‘for violations of sanctions and money laundering laws.’ It filed a related civil forfeiture action alleging that approximately $12 million ‘is subject to forfeiture as funds involved in these crimes and as assets of a foreign terrorist organization.’

According to the complaint, Dianat and his Iranian associate, Kamran Lajmiri, conspired to purchase an oil tanker in a scheme aimed at raising revenues for the Qods Force.

‘These defendants purchased a crude oil tanker valued at over $10 million by illegally using the U.S. financial system, defiantly violating U.S. sanctions,’ said Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Demers.