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.
John Hudson reports on national security and foreign policy from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, the White House to Embassy Row, for The Cable.