US imposes new sanctions on Iran regardless of COVID-19 situation

TEHRAN, May 02 (MNA) – The United States has imposed new sanctions against Iran in the midst of the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Treasury Department, in a statement on Friday, blacklisted dual Iranian and Iraqi national Amir Dianat, also known as Ameer Abdulazeez Jaafar Almthaje.

Washington also blacklisted Taif Mining Services, a company owned, controlled or directed by Dianat.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) claimed that Dianat is involved in what it called efforts by the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to “generate revenue and smuggle weapons abroad,” Press TV reported.

In addition to the blacklisting, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia filed criminal charges against Dianat and one of his business associates, Iranian Kamran Lajmiri, for alleged violations of sanctions and money laundering laws.

It also filed a related 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 Lajmiri in 2019 conspired to purchase a petroleum tanker in a scheme involving the National Iranian Oil Company, the National Iranian Tanker Company and the IRGC’s Quds Force.

If convicted of the charges, the two men would face a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

The new sanction comes amid Tehran’s fight against the coronavirus and despite US President Donald Trump’s claims of its readiness to help the Islamic Republic in its fight against the pandemic.

The country is battling the highly contagious virus under illegal sanctions which the US imposed after scrapping a UN-backed nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers in 2018.

Calls have recently been growing on the international stage for the US to lift its inhumane anti-Iran bans, which have hampered the country’s access to lifesaving medical supplies.

However, the US administration has obviously ignored the calls and imposed even more restrictive measures on the Islamic Republic.

MNA/PR

News Code 158259

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