Thursday, September 5, 2019 9:00 am
The United States has offered 15 million dollars for information than can help it cripple the financial mechanisms of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The move, announced by the Department of State through a statement on Wednesday, also targets the Quds Force, an intelligence unit of the IRGC responsible for overseas operations.
According to the statement, the information being sought also borders on the “IRGC’s illicit oil sales, including via oil tankers like the Adrian Darya”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the President Donald Trump administration had designated IRGC as a terrorist entity in April.
The latest move came shortly after the administration blacklisted a number of companies, vessels and individuals who have allegedly breached U.S. sanctions by working with the IRGC.
A former Iranian oil minister and his son were among the designated individuals.
Among others, the action targets “entities or individuals assisting the IRGC in evading U.S. and international sanctions, and IRGC donors or financial facilitators”.
Others include IRGC’s revenue sources, formal financial institutions doing business with it, and “front companies engaged in international procurement of dual-use technology on behalf of the IRGC”.
On Tuesday, the Depart of State had announced imposition of sanctions against the Iran Space Agency for allegedly advancing the country’s ballistic missile programme.
NAN recalls that the latest tension between the U.S. and Iran was sparked by the withdrawal of the Trump administration from a 2015 multi-national nuclear deal with Iran.
Trump said the agreement, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “did not go far enough” to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.
Also on Tuesday, the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, reportedly said his country would not agree to bilateral negotiations with the U.S. until all sanctions were lifted.
According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, Rouhani stated this at a parliament session in Tehran with a threat to further reduce commitments to the “crumbling JCPOA”.
Trump had earlier said he would meet his Iranian counterpart “under the right circumstances” to end the confrontation over the nuclear deal.
Speaking at a the just-ended G7 summit in France, the U.S. president, however, ruled out lifting economic sanctions to compensate for losses suffered by Iran.