Treasury’s blacklisting of the South Wealth Resources Company, or Manabea Tharwat al-Janoob General Trading Company, is part of the Trump administration’s broader pressure campaign against Tehran that the White House says is meant to coerce the government into a nuclear and regional security pact. The latest sanctions also affect two Iraqi men the U.S. accuses of aiding the IRGC’s weapon imports.
“Treasury is taking action to shut down Iranian weapons smuggling networks that have been used to arm regional proxies of the IRGC Qods Force in Iraq, while personally enriching regime insiders,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The secretary said Iraq’s financial system must bolster efforts to counter illicit Iran-directed activity.
The sanctions block any property the firm and men may own within U.S. territory, and the exposure of the alleged activities could hinder the operations going forward.
The Trump administration, which withdrew from the nuclear agreement between Iran and other world powers, says Iran is a source of regional instability and has used sanctions to bolster its effort to persuade reluctant allies to join it in pressing for a new nuclear accord and security pact.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The Iraqi firm, whose details are listed on the website for the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
The U.S. Treasury said the Iraqi company is a front for the Quds Force, Iran’s elite military unit that directs Tehran’s interventions in conflicts throughout the Middle East. Washington accuses the Quds Force of orchestrating terrorist attacks across the world.
The Iraqi firm and the two sanctioned men, the U.S. said, helped the Quds Force covertly access Iraq’s financial system and funnel arms to Iraqi militias backed by Iran.