New U.S. Sanctions Omit Key Firms Linked to Iran’s Armed Forces
The following is an excerpt:
The United States on Monday sanctioned more than 700 Iranian entities and individuals for enabling Tehran’s malign conduct, but it omitted half of the publicly listed firms under the principal control of the regime’s security forces. Listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), these lucrative companies play a major role in financing Iran’s regional aggression and domestic repression.
The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran owns more than 50 percent of the shares – or controls more than 50 percent of the seats on the boards of directors – of 22 TSE-listed companies. These firms encompass a variety of industries, including finance, energy, construction, automotive, and telecommunications, among others. Eleven of the 22 companies fall under the Armed Forces’ general jurisdiction; the IRGC, in particular, controls the rest.
The Armed Forces includes the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s praetorians; the Law Enforcement Force (LEF) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the state police; the Basij, or religious police; the Artesh, or conventional military; the General Staff of the Armed Forces; and the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL). Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, directly appoints the heads of all of them except the MODAFL. The United States had already designated the IRGC, the LEF, the Basij, and the MODAFL prior to Monday’s sanctions.
On Monday, Washington sanctioned six companies under the Armed Forces’ general jurisdiction. Treasury had sanctioned two of those six – Ghadir Investment and Parsian Oil and Gas – before the finalization of the 2015 nuclear deal, which led to their delisting. Treasury had not previously sanctioned the other four – Motogen, Sepahan Cement, Shargh Cement, and Kurdistan Cement.
Treasury has yet to sanction the remaining five, which they should do in light of their ties to other firms that Treasury designated on Monday.
Read the complete policy brief by Mark and Saeed Ghasseminejad on FDD’s website here.