US imposes new sanctions on facilitators of Iranian terrorism and Syrian drug trafficking

The Treasury Department explained that companies registered in several countries are facilitating the financing of illicit activities of groups such as the IRGC-QF, the Houthis and Hezbollah.

This Tuesday, the United States announced a series of sanctions targeting individuals and companies accused of facilitating illicit financial transactions and commercial activities that directly benefit Iran’s military, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, members of Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as the Syrian regime.

In one of the statements, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control explained that the United States sanctioned six companies, two oil tankers and a money exchanger based or registered in Liberia, India, Vietnam, Lebanon or Kuwait for financing the illicit activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its associated groups.

This action marks the sixth round of sanctions imposed since December 2023 against the Iran-based Sa’id al-Jamal Houthi network backed by the IRGC-QF, which uses companies and vessels to facilitate shipments of goods for the benefit of terrorist groups.

In a separate statement, the United States also announced the imposition of sanctions on 11 individuals and entities accused of facilitating financial transfers to the Syrian government and of being involved in the trafficking of a highly addictive amphetamine called Captagon.

The department explained that the illicit production and trade of Captagon has become a booming industry with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in power, which not only feeds the regime’s coffers but also uses it to evade international sanctions and carry out financial transfers through Syrian money services companies.

“The illicit profits from these activities sustain the Assad regime’s repression of Syrians and also undermine stability, security, and public health in the wider region,” the United States denounced.

Conflicts in the Middle East

It should be remembered that these sanctions come amid a series of conflicts and tensions in the region, including the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which has fueled concerns about a possible escalation of the conflict and its impact on regional stability.

Clashes between Hezbollah militants and Israeli troops on Lebanon’s southern border are increasingly constant, causing the displacement of tens of thousands of people on both sides.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, Houthi rebels have stepped up their attacks by launching drones and missiles at ships in the Red Sea, aiming to put pressure on Israel and end the war. The United States and its allies have attempted to contain these attacks through military action, but the Houthis have persisted in their campaign, defying sanctions and international isolation.