Treasury targets oil smuggling network generating hundreds of millions of dollars for Qods Force and Hezbollah

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating an international oil smuggling and money laundering network led by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officials that has facilitated the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian oil for both the IRGC-QF and Hezbollah.

This oil smuggling network, led by U.S.-designated IRGC-QF official Behnam Shahriyari and former IRGC-QF official Rostam Ghasemi and backed by senior levels of the Russian Federation government and state-run economic organs, has acted as a critical element of Iran’s oil revenue generation, as well as its support for proxy militant groups that continue to perpetuate conflict and suffering throughout the region.

“The United States remains fully committed to holding the Iranian regime accountable for its support to terrorist proxies that destabilize the Middle East,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson.

“While the United States continues to seek a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will not hesitate to target those who provide a critical lifeline of financial support and access to the international financial system for the Qods Force or Hezbollah.

In particular, the United States will continue to strictly enforce sanctions on Iran’s illicit oil trade. Anyone purchasing oil from Iran faces the prospect of U.S. sanctions.”

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.

The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007 for providing support to multiple terrorist groups.

The Russian Government and IRGC-QF Oil as early as April 2021, former IRGC-QF official Rostam Ghasemi leveraged Russia-based RPP  Limited Liability Company (RPP LLC) – formerly managed by Afghan businessman Kamaluddin Gulam Nabizada – to transfer millions of dollars on behalf of the IRGC-QF from Russia.

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