The US slams fresh sanctions on Iranians accused of funneling money to elite armed forces

Soldiers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards march during an annual military parade to mark Iran's eight-year war with Iraq in the capital Tehran, 22 September 2007.

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Soldiers of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards march during an annual military parade to mark Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq in the capital Tehran, 22 September 2007.
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ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

  • The US has imposed new sanctions on Iran, the first since President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
  • The new measures target six individuals and three companies said to be funneling millions of dollars towards an elite unite of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
  • The sanctions specifically take aim at the IRGC’s Quds Forces, which operate the guards’ overseas operations, including in Syria.

The US has imposed new sanctions on Iran, the first since President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The new measures target six individuals and three companies said to be funneling millions of dollars towards an elite unite of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The US Treasury Department, acting jointly with the UAE, also accused Iran’s central bank of helping the IRGC access hundreds of millions in US currency which it held in foreign banks to avoid crippling sanctions.

“The Iranian regime and its central bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire US dollars to fund the IRGC’s malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the US dollars were acquired,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Iran’s central bank was not formally sanctioned in the action, but the Treasury has recently said it will reimpose a number of widespread sanctions aimed at crippling oil and banking sectors in the coming months.

The IRGC is a powerful arm of Iran’s armed forces, established after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.The sanctions specifically take aim at the IRGC’s Quds Forces, which operate the groups overseas operations, including in Syria. They are said to have been behind recent rocket attacks launched against Israel in the Golan heights.

The move came just says after Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday. The agreement – signed with the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, and the European Union – promised Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for limiting its nuclear program.