U.S. offers $15M for info. to break up Iran's Revolutionary Guard's finances

US offered millions in cash to captain of Iranian tanker

US offered millions in cash to captain of Iranian tanker

After pulling from the nuclear accord, the United States has unilaterally threatened sanctions aimed toward finishing all oil gross sales via Iran in a bid to decrease the clerical regime's regional affect.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control action froze any assets in the United States of the designated entities and generally prohibited any USA citizens or companies from doing business with them.

President Trump designated the military unit as a terrorist organization back in April, and said the IRGC is Iran's primary source of directing its terrorist campaign.

Part of that game now involves an Iranian oil tanker, the Adrian Darya 1 (formerly known as the Grace 1), released by Gibraltar and at the center of a stand-off between Tehran and the West.

The U.S., which has sought to seize the tanker, claims the ship is owned by Iran's Revolutionary Guard which it has recently labelled a terrorist organization.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 16 entities - individuals and vessels - it said were part of this oil-shipping network.

Iran's former Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi and his son Morteza, are among those hit by the sanctions.

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US officials said that the Qods Force used the network to hide its involvement in the oil sales to Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and other unidentified "illicit actors" and relied heavily on Hezbollah officials and front companies to broker the contracts.

The Treasury sanctions on Wednesday follow designations on the Iranian space program on Tuesday, and last week on the Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1 and its captain, Akhilesh Kumar.

In the days prior to the sanctions, Hook emailed Kumar, offering him several million dollars to pilot the Adrian Darya 1 to a country that would impound the tanker on behalf of the US, according to a Financial Times report.

Iran has been gradually reducing its compliance with the 2015 agreement in a bid to pressure European countries to compensate it for the severe damage done to its economy by multiple rounds of US sanctions. Asadi also helped arrange payments in support of vessel management transfers, which benefited the IRGC-QF network, the Treasury said. The ship had been seized on suspicions that it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria - a significant breach of European Union sanctions.

The Treasury issued a new shipping advisory to the maritime community warning of the risks involved with participating in schemes such as the IRGC-QF network. After he it appears didn't reply to the United States be offering, the Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions each at the send and on Kumar himself, freezing any belongings he will have within the United States and criminalizing any USA monetary transactions with him.

Hook told FT that the email was one of several that he sent in recent months "in an effort to scare mariners into understanding that helping Iran evade sanctions comes at a heavy price", the newspaper reports.

In a March document released by OFAC, the Trump administration laid out the various deceptive shipping practices conducted by the Iranian al-Quds forces.

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