US Imposes Sanctions on Iraqi Front Company for Funneling Millions to Iranian IRGC
The US Treasury Department again took aim at the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Wednesday, as it announced sanctions on an Iraqi company alleged to be acting as a “financial conduit” to the IRGC.
A statement from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) confirmed that sanctions had been imposed “on an Iraq-based Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) financial conduit, South Wealth Resources Company (SWRC), which has trafficked hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to IRGC-QF-backed Iraqi militias. ”
The Quds Force is the international operations arm of the IRGC and has been active on several fronts, including Iraqi Kurdistan and the Syrian and Lebanese borders with Israel.
Announcing the new measure, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his department was “taking action to shut down Iranian weapons smuggling networks that have been used to arm regional proxies of the IRGC Quds Force in Iraq, while personally enriching regime insiders.”
Based in the al-Jadriya district of eastern Baghdad, South Wealth Resources Company was described by the Treasury Department as a “front to smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to its proxies inside Iraq, while also generating profit in the form of commission payments for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an OFAC-sanctioned advisor to IRGC-QF commander Qasem Suleimani, and two associates of SWRC who are also being designated.”
The IRGC was itself designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the Trump administration in April — marking the first time that the US had formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group.
In a statement announcing the decision, President Donald Trump described the IRGC as “the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”