U.S. imposes sanctions on Iranian and Iraqi national over support of Iran's Quds Force

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Taif Mining Services LLC and its owner over accusations he helped support Iran’s elite Quds Force, including in efforts to smuggle shipments from Iran to Yemen, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The Treasury Department said in a statement that Iranian and Iraqi national Amir Dianat has supported Quds Force smuggling operations for years, including efforts aimed at the shipment of weapons including missiles.

In addition to the Treasury Department’s blacklisting of Dianat, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia filed criminal charges against him and one of his business associates for violations of sanctions and money laundering laws.

The sanctions freeze any U.S.-held assets of Dianat or Taif Mining Services and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

“The Iranian regime and its supporters continue to prioritize the funding of international terrorist organizations over the health and well-being of the Iranian people,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have spiked since Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal struck by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and began reimposing sanctions that had been eased under the accord.

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