The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated an international oil smuggling and money laundering network led by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officials that had been facilitating the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian oil for both the IRGC-QF and Lebanese Hizballah. The US Treasury has claimed that this oil smuggling network was being led by US designated IRGC-QF official Behnam Shahriyari and former IRGC-QF officer Rostam Ghasemi and has backing of the senior Russian officials and state-run economic institutions.
The US Treasury clamped down on several individuals and entities linked to alleged oil smuggling and money laundering network including Russian based former Afghan Diplomat Nabizada, his Moscow based firm RPP LLC, Zaman oil DMCC, Iranian based IRGC-QF associates Mohammad Sadegh Karimian, Alireza Kashanimehr, Azim Monzavi and Esam Ettehadi along with Turk citizens Hakki Selcuk Sanli, Seyyid Cemal Gunduz and Abdul hamid Celik, several foreign entities including South Korea based Turkoca Import Export Transit Co.,Ltd. China based Fujie Petro-chemical Zhoushan Co., Ltd., and Shandong Sea Right Petrochemical Co. Ltd. and Iran-based Petro China Pars Co. had been designated under the E.O. 13224, for allegedly assisting, sponsoring, providing financial, material, or technological support to the IRGC-QF operations.
In fact, the American government has devised a mechanism of penalizing its rivals through designation and sanctioning of its opposing government officials, citizens and business entities while taking advantage of its global status, political and economic influence as well as support of its allies. Iran, a sovereign nation, has full right over its oil reserves and trading of its petroleum products with other nations, however most nations and firms around the globe avoid dealing in Iranian petroleum products due to fear of US sanctions. The US treasury had sanctioned hundreds of Iranian nationals, and business firms on the charges of oil smuggling and designated dozens of global companies on account of so-called money laundering. Apparently, this foul game is only characterized on the phenomenon of might is right, otherwise it has no moral and legal ground so far.