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Treasury announces new sanctions on Iranian companies

As Susan Rice‘s shop in New York pursues multilateral sanctions against Iran at the U.N. and Congress moves its own sanctions regime on Capitol Hill, the Treasury Department is moving forward with targeted actions against a new set of Iranian companies. Treasury announced Wednesday it is officially affiliating four more companies with the Islamic Revolutionary ...

As Susan Rice‘s shop in New York pursues multilateral sanctions against Iran at the U.N. and Congress moves its own sanctions regime on Capitol Hill, the Treasury Department is moving forward with targeted actions against a new set of Iranian companies.

Treasury announced Wednesday it is officially affiliating four more companies with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), bringing those companies under the umbrella of Iran sanctions already in place in existing law. The main target is IRGC General Rostam Qasemi, who is also the commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, the engineering arm of the IRGC that Treasury says helps the Guards generate income and fund their operations. 

"Khatam al-Anbiya is owned or controlled by the IRGC and is involved in the construction of streets, highways, tunnels, water conveyance projects, agricultural restoration projects, and pipelines," the Treasury Department press release states.

Administration officials are pointing to the move as a sign they are zeroing in on the IRGC specifically.

"As the IRGC consolidates control over broad swaths of the Iranian economy, displacing ordinary Iranian businessmen in favor of a select group of insiders, it is hiding behind companies like Khatam al-Anbiya and its affiliates to maintain vital ties to the outside world," the release quoted the under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Stuart Levey, as saying. "Today’s action exposing Khatam al-Anbiya subsidiaries will help firms worldwide avoid business that ultimately benefits the IRGC and its dangerous activities."

Treasury also designated four organizations as being controlled by or connected to Khatam al-Anbiya: the Fater Engineering Institute, the Imensazen Consultant Engineers Institute, the Makin Institute, and the Rahab Institute.

As Susan Rice‘s shop in New York pursues multilateral sanctions against Iran at the U.N. and Congress moves its own sanctions regime on Capitol Hill, the Treasury Department is moving forward with targeted actions against a new set of Iranian companies.

Treasury announced Wednesday it is officially affiliating four more companies with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), bringing those companies under the umbrella of Iran sanctions already in place in existing law. The main target is IRGC General Rostam Qasemi, who is also the commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, the engineering arm of the IRGC that Treasury says helps the Guards generate income and fund their operations. 

"Khatam al-Anbiya is owned or controlled by the IRGC and is involved in the construction of streets, highways, tunnels, water conveyance projects, agricultural restoration projects, and pipelines," the Treasury Department press release states.

Administration officials are pointing to the move as a sign they are zeroing in on the IRGC specifically.

"As the IRGC consolidates control over broad swaths of the Iranian economy, displacing ordinary Iranian businessmen in favor of a select group of insiders, it is hiding behind companies like Khatam al-Anbiya and its affiliates to maintain vital ties to the outside world," the release quoted the under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Stuart Levey, as saying. "Today’s action exposing Khatam al-Anbiya subsidiaries will help firms worldwide avoid business that ultimately benefits the IRGC and its dangerous activities."

Treasury also designated four organizations as being controlled by or connected to Khatam al-Anbiya: the Fater Engineering Institute, the Imensazen Consultant Engineers Institute, the Makin Institute, and the Rahab Institute.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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