The United States imposed sanctions on three entities and one individual based in Turkey and Lebanon on Wednesday for giving “critical financial support” to a financial network used by Iran’s Quds Force (IRGC-QF) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
“These entities have generated hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue from selling Iranian commodities, including to the Syrian government,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement.
“These commodity sales provide a key source of funding for the IRGC-QF and Hezbollah’s continued terrorist activities and support to other terrorist organizations throughout the region,” it added.
The Treasury Department said it had imposed sanctions on Turkey-based Mira Ihracat Ithalat Petrol, which purchases, transports, and sells Iranian commodities on the global market, and its chief executive and owner Ibrahim Talal al-Uwayr, who is also known under the alias Ibrahim Agaoglu.
It also targeted two Lebanon-based entities, Yara Offshore SAL, a company affiliated with Hezbollah which has facilitated large sales of Iranian commodities to Syria, and Hydro Company for Drilling Equipment Rental, which is involved in financing the IRGC-QF by facilitating the shipment of Iranian commodities worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Syria.
As a result of the sanctions, all property of those targeted in the United States or that fall under the control of US persons is blocked.
US regulations generally bar US persons from dealing with the property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. Further, non-US financial institutions and others that engage in certain dealings with those sanctioned may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action.
The sanctions came after three American service members were killed in a drone strike Sunday in Jordan — the first deadly attack since pro-Iran militias began striking US bases in the Middle East in response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Since October 8, a day after the Hamas mass onslaught in Israel that sparked the war in Gaza, the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group has attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the Israel-Lebanon border on a near-daily basis, with the Lebanese terror group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.
So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in six civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of nine IDF soldiers and reservists.
Hezbollah has named 174 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 20 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 19 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.
Top Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to go to war in Lebanon after the campaign to root out Hamas in Gaza is over, with the aim of driving Hezbollah away from the border in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.