US Treasury and UK announce sanctions on Iranian 'transnational repression network'

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2024-01-29 | 10:37
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US Treasury and UK announce sanctions on Iranian 'transnational repression network'
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US Treasury and UK announce sanctions on Iranian 'transnational repression network'

On Monday, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the United Kingdom took joint action against a network of individuals that targeted Iranian opposition activists for assassination at the order of the Iranian regime. 

This action was under Executive Order (EO) 13553, which allows sanctions on certain persons concerning "serious human rights abuses by the Government of Iran."

The network is headed by Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti (Zindashti), an Iranian narcotics trafficker, and operates at the command of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). 

"Zindashti's network has carried out numerous acts of transnational repression, including assassinations and kidnappings across multiple jurisdictions in an attempt to silence the Iranian regime's perceived critics. The network has also plotted operations in the United States," said a press release by the US Department of the Treasury

This action is being taken in conjunction with unsealing an indictment by the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additionally, the United Kingdom has also designated Mohammad Reza Ansari, who was also designated by OFAC previously, 

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson said: "The United States, alongside our international allies and partners, including the United Kingdom, will continue to combat the Iranian regime's transnational repression and will utilize all available tools to stop this threat, especially on US soil."

- Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti, Nihat Abdul Kadir Asan, and Shahram Ali Reza Tamarzadeh Zavieh Jakki are being designated under EO 13553 for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the MOIS.

- Reza Hamidiravari is being designated for acting or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the MOIS.
 
- Ekrem Abdulkerym Oztunc is designated for having materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti.
 
- Ali Esfanjani and Muhammad Reza Naserzadeh were designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the MOIS.

- Abulvahap Kocak and Ali Kocak were designated pursuant for assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti.
 
In addition, according to a press release by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Muhammed Abd al-Razek Kanafani was subject to travel ban and asset freeze for being "named in ITV News report for co-ordinating threat to Iran International."
 
Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "The Iranian regime has tried to undermine our democracy through repression – we will continue to take action when necessary to protect our country, values and freedom of speech. [...] We cannot allow foreign regimes to collaborate with criminals to threaten us. Sanctioning these criminal networks working for the Iranian regime will remind them that we will fight back."
 

World News

Middle East News

United States

Treasury Department

OFAC

United Kingdom

Iran

Iranian Regime

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