The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday announced sanctions on Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-based sales agent for Mahan Air, an Iranian airline already under U.S. sanctions in connection with Iran’s alleged support for international terrorism.
In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that sales agents such as Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd “are key to enabling Mahan Air’s international operations, especially in regards to conducting financial transactions on behalf of the airline.”
“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd that are or come within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked,” the statement added.
Mnuchin further noted that “Mahan Air is the airline of choice for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, facilitating its support to terrorism across the Middle East. Mahan’s regular flights to Syria are used to prop up the Assad regime and deliver weapons, foreign fighters, and Iranian operatives who sow violence and unrest across the region.”
“The United States government has been very clear about the deadly role played by Mahan Air. Our action against an independent company providing General Sales Agent services to Mahan makes clear to all in the aviation industry that they urgently need to sever all ties and distance themselves immediately from this airline. Companies that continue to service Mahan aircraft, or facilitate Mahan flights in and out of airports in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, are on notice that they do so at great financial risk.”
Mahan Air was designated in October 2011 by the U.S. for providing financial, material, or technological support for the Quds Force. The Quds Force was previously designated on October 25, 2007 for its support to numerous terrorism-linked organizations.
The move is the latest in a series of sanctions against Iranian officials and entities which the U.S. Treasury has announced since it withdrew in May from the 2015 nuclear deal.
In the first move, the United States imposed sanctions on five Iranians with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
It later imposed sanctions on Iran’s central bank governor and an Iraq-based bank for “moving millions of dollars” for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.
Before that, the Treasury imposed sanctions against six individuals and three companies it said were funneling millions of dollars to the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.
Another round of sanctions targeted companies linked to Mahan Air and another airline, Meraj Air.