The US on Friday sanctioned an oil smuggling network and its broker for allegedly aiding the external operations unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Omani national Mahmood Rashid Amur al-Habsi was designated for facilitating 'the sale and shipment of Iranian oil through his companies to obscure the' involvement of the corps' Quds Force, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Al-Habsi is responsible for transporting shipments worth tens of millions of dollars, and he sought to circumvent sanctions by altering automated ship identification systems, forging shipping documents, and paying bribes, according to the Treasury.
The companies that make up his network – Nimr International L.L.C., Orbit Petrochemicals Trading LLC, Bravery Maritime Corporation, and Nimr International S.R.L. – are also being blacklisted.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Quds Force has been using the proceeds from sales brokered by al-Habsi 'to fund its malign activities.'
'These sales depend on foreign intermediaries to obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement. The United State will continue to expose and disrupt those supporting such efforts,' he said in a statement.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington DC