U.S. blacklists two UAE-companies, businessman over Iran

The United States has blacklisted two Dubai-based companies and an Iranian businessman for helping to supply U.S.-designated Mahan Air with key parts and logistic services as the Trump administration continues to tighten its vises on Iran.

The Treasury said Wednesday it was sanctioning Amin Mahdavi, the CEO of Parthia Cargo, the company he controls and Delta Parts Supply, both based in the United Arab Emirates, for supporting Mahan Air, which the United States designated in 2019 for supporting another U.S.-designated entity, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Justice Department also charged Mahdavi and Parthia on Wednesday with conspiring to defraud the United States and to violate export laws and sanctions against Iran.

“The Iranian regime uses Mahan Air as a tool to spread its destabilizing agenda around the world, including to the corrupt regimes in Syria and Venezuela, as well as terrorist groups through the Middle East,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “The United States will continue to take action against those supporting this airline.”

The sanctions are part of the Trump administration’s “extreme pressure” campaign to force Iran back to the negotiating table over its nuclear weapons program following President Donald Trump pulling out of an Obama-era landmark accord in 2018.

The Treasury accused the two companies Wednesday of supplying Mahan Air with parts to maintain its fleet of Western-manufactured aircraft that Iran uses to transport terrorists and equipment to Syria to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

More recently, the Trump administration has said Mahan Air has transported Iranian technicians and technical equipment to Venezuela in support of embattled President Nicolas Maduro who the United States has been attempting to oust since his 2018 re-election was deemed illegitimate early last year.

“Mahan Air has transported IRGC-QF operatives, weapons, equipment and funds abroad in support of the terrorist group’s regional operations, and has also moved weapons and personnel for Hezbollah,” the Treasury said, referring to the Iranian-backed Lebanon-based terrorist organization.

Parthia is accused of regularly forwarding aircraft parts from the UAE to Mahan Air in the Iranian capital of Tehran as well as to the airline’s front companies in Istanbul, Turkey, the Treasury said.

Delta parts, the Treasury said, sold key aviation goods, including U.S.-origin parts, to Mahan and its front companies and regularly uses Parthia for shipping.

“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime continues,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter. “If you do business with a designated global terrorist entity, you run the risk of being sanctioned.”

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