The United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) jointly took action to disrupt an extensive currency exchange network in Iran and the UAE that has procured and transferred millions in U.S. dollar-denominated bulk cash to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to fund its malign activities and regional proxy groups. Specifically, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated nine Iranian individuals and entities. Iran’s Central Bank was complicit in the IRGC-QF’s scheme and actively supported this network’s currency conversion and enabled its access to funds that it held in its foreign bank accounts. This network of exchangers and couriers has converted hundreds of millions of dollars.
“The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire U.S. dollars to fund the IRGC-QF’s malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the U.S. dollars were acquired. As I said following the president’s announcement on Tuesday, we are intent on cutting off IRGC revenue streams wherever their source and whatever their destination. Today we are targeting Iranian individuals and front companies engaged in a large-scale currency exchange network that has procured and transferred millions to the IRGC-QF,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The Treasury Department thanks the UAE for its close collaboration on this matter. Countries around the world must be vigilant against Iran’s efforts to exploit their financial institutions to exchange currency and fund the nefarious actors of the IRGC-QF and the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.”
The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 on Oct. 25, 2007. The IRGC itself was also designated on Oct. 13, 2017, pursuant to E.O. 13224 for it support to the IRGC-QF, and consistent with the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act.