Trump administration sanctions Iraqi company over alleged ties to Iranian forces

Trump administration sanctions Iraqi company over alleged ties to Iranian forces
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The Trump administration on Wednesday announced sanctions against an Iraqi company and two individuals that allegedly trafficked weapons for Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force.

The Treasury Department announced sanctions against South Wealth Resources Company, a Baghdad-based company the administration said trafficked "hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons" to Iraqi militias backed by the Revolutionary Guard unit.

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The U.S. also sanctioned Makki Kazim Al Asadi and Muhammed Husayn Salih al-Hasani, two individuals it said helped facilitate the Quds Force's access to weapons. 

The company and the two individuals are being labeled as specially designated global terrorists, the Treasury Department said.

"The Iraqi financial sector and the broader international financial system must harden their defenses against the continued deceptive tactics emanating from Tehran in order to avoid complicity in the IRGC’s ongoing sanctions evasion schemes and other malign activities," Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocratic lawmaker calls Trump a 'moron' for his handling of Iran Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need Congress to approve Iran strikes in interview with The Hill | New sanctions hit Iran's supreme leader | Schumer seeks to delay defense bill amid Iran tensions | Esper's first day as acting Pentagon chief Treasury inspector general to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills MORE said in a statement.

Wednesday's announcement marked the latest tranche of sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Iran in an effort to increase pressure on Tehran and cripple the country's economy.

The Trump administration announced sanctions last week against Iran's largest petrochemical company for giving financial support to the Revolutionary Guard.

The administration in April labeled the Revolutionary Guard a "foreign terrorist organization," the first time the United States has applied the designation to an entire government entity.

Other sanctions have targeted Iran's oil and metals industries.