US blacklists oil shipping network allegedly run by Iran Revolutionary Guards

the super tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1 sails in the British territory of Gibraltar. [AP Photo]

The on Wednesday imposed on a shipping network it said was run by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, saying it sold millions of barrels of to benefit Bashar al-Assad. The sanctions on 16 entities, 10 people and 11 vessels were announced just as Iran was threatening to cut further its commitments under a nuclear deal.

The United States on Wednesday sanctioned a sprawling network of firms, ships and individuals allegedly directed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that supplied Syria with worth tens of millions of dollars in a breach of U.S. .

The individuals included a former Iranian oil minister and his son, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. Also hit were subsidiaries of an Indian firm with an interest in the Adrian Darya, the Iranian tanker that has been cruising the Mediterranean since its release from detention by authorities in Gibraltar in July, it said.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control action froze any assets in the of the designated entities and generally prohibited any U.S. citizens or companies from doing business with them.

The department said that the Qods Force, the IRGC's elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm, and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia movement, profited financially by supplying Iranian oil and petroleum products, mostly to , that this spring alone were worth more than $750 million.

"Treasury's action against this sprawling petroleum network makes it explicitly clear that those purchasing Iranian oil are directly supporting Iran's militants and terrorist arm, the IRGC-Qods Force," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

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