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US hits UAE-based aviation firms with sanctions over work for Iran airline

Treasury Department says penalties are for providing parts and logistics services to Mahan Air, which is under counterterrorism sanctions for support of Revolutionary Guards

A Yemeni airport security official walks on the tarmac next to a plane from the Iranian private airline Mahan Air at the international airport in Sanaa, Yemen, March 1, 2015 (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A Yemeni airport security official walks on the tarmac next to a plane from the Iranian private airline Mahan Air at the international airport in Sanaa, Yemen, March 1, 2015 (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday slapped sanctions on two aviation companies in the United Arab Emirates over their work for an Iranian airline already under US sanctions. At the same time, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against one of the companies for violations of US export control regulations.

The Treasury Department announced it is imposing penalties on the two firms and the Iranian owner of one of them for providing parts and logistics services to Iran’s Mahan Air, which has been subject to US counterterrorism sanctions since 2019 for its support for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the State Department has designated a foreign terrorist organization.

The sanctions target UAE-based Parthia Cargo and Delta Parts Supply along with Parthia’s owner, Amin Mahdavi, and freeze any assets they may have in US jurisdiction as well as barring Americans from doing business with them. The sanctions may also apply to foreign companies, including banks, that do business with them, Treasury said.

“The Iranian regime uses Mahan Air as a tool to spread its destabilizing agenda around the world, including to the corrupt regimes in Syria and Venezuela, as well as terrorist groups throughout the Middle East,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “The United States will continue to take action against those supporting this airline.”

Treasury’s actions came as the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia filed charges against Parthia Cargo and Mahdavi related to alleged unlicensed re-exports of US aircraft parts to Iran.

The US has long accused Mahan Air of transporting IRGC-supplied weapons and personnel from Iran to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, while sending technicians and equipment to Venezuela. Airports in the UAE have often served as a hub for such flights.

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