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 Treasury Sanctions Supporters of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force


2/3/2017
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned multiple entities and individuals involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).
This action reflects the United States’ commitment to enforcing sanctions on Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities in the region and is fully consistent with the United States’ commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  More specifically: 
  • OFAC designated several networks and supporters of Iran’s ballistic missile procurement, including a critical Iranian procurement agent and eight individuals and entities in his Iran- and China-based network, an Iranian procurement company and its Gulf-based network, and five individuals and entities that are part of an Iran-based procurement network connected to Mabrooka Trading, which was designated on January 17, 2016.  This action was taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and supporters of such activity.
  • OFAC designated a key IRGC-QF-run support network working with Hizballah, including IRGC-QF official Hasan Deghan Ebrahimi, his associates Muhammad Abd-al-Amir Farhat and Yahya al-Hajj, and several affiliated companies in Lebanon.  This action was taken pursuant to E.O. 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.  The IRGC-QF was designated under E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007 for its support to numerous terrorist groups. 
  • OFAC designated Ali Sharifi, an individual providing procurement and other services on behalf of the IRGC-QF.  This action was taken pursuant to E.O. 13224.
“Iran’s continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile program poses a threat to the region, to our partners worldwide, and to the United States.  Today’s action is part of Treasury’s ongoing efforts to counter Iranian malign activity abroad that is outside the scope of the JCPOA,” said Acting OFAC Director John E. Smith.  “We will continue to actively apply all available tools, including financial sanctions, to address this behavior.”
 
As a result of this action, all property and interests in property of those designated today subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
 
Abdollah Asgharzadeh Network
Abdollah Asgharzadeh is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG).  Asgharzadeh is an Iranian businessman who has been procuring controlled and dual-use technology and materials for over a decade to support Iran’s ballistic missile programs, primarily for SHIG.  He has previously worked to procure items on behalf of Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).  AIO is the Iranian organization responsible for ballistic missile research, development, and production activities and organization, including SHIG and the Shahid Bakeri Industries Group (SBIG).  AIO, SHIG, and SBIG were identified in the Annex of E.O. 13382 in June 2005.
 
Tenny Darian is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, support for, or services in support of, Asgharzadeh, and for acting, or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Asgharzadeh.  As an example of their procurement activities, Asgharzadeh and his associate Darian have sought to purchase and ship foreign-produced ball bearings, which are among the items required by SHIG to produce the Shahab-2 short range ballistic missile and Shahab-3 medium range ballistic missile. 
 
Asgharzadeh and Darian have coordinated the procurement of dual-use and other goods for SHIG through intermediary companies that obfuscate that the goods are for SHIG and will support Iran’s ballistic missile program. 
 
East Star Company and Ofog Sabze Darya Company are two such Iran-based companies used for shipments of dual-use and missile-related items to Iran.  East Star Company is being designated for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Asgharzadeh.  Ofog Sabze Darya Company is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Asgharzadeh and Darian.
 
Since 2013, Asgharzadeh has relied on a network of trusted China-based brokers and their companies to assist his procurement of dual-use and other goods for SHIG.  Asgharzadeh and Darian work with three China-based brokers – Richard Yue, a sales associate of Cosailing Business Trade Company; Jack Qin, an employee of Ningbo New Century Import and Export; and Carol Zhou – to import dual-use and other components and goods.
 
Yue is being designated for providing or attempting to provide financial or material support for Asgharzadeh.  Cosailing Business Trading Company Limited is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Asgharzadeh. 
 
Yue and Cosailing Business Trading Company purchase goods from other China-based suppliers on behalf of Asgharzadeh.  Yue and Cosailing Business Trading Company have both accepted financial compensation from Asgharzadeh and Darian in exchange for dual-use goods destined for Iran, including U.S.-origin goods.
 
Qin is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Asgharzadeh and Darian. 
 
He is another China-based intermediary for Asgharzadeh and arranges transport to Iran of goods destined for Asgharzadeh’s customers, including SHIG, and accepts payment in return.  Qin uses Ningbo New Century Import and Export Company, Ltd. to facilitate shipments for Asgharzadeh to Iran.  Ningbo New Century Import and Export Company, Ltd. is being designated for providing or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Qin.
 
Zhou is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Asgharzadeh and Darian.
 
Gulf-Based Rostamian Network
 
MKS International is being designated for providing financial, material, technological, or other support to AIO and SBIG.  Since 2011, MKS International has been involved in procuring controlled and other technology and materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile programs, primarily for AIO and SBIG.  MKS International utilized multiple front companies in order to circumvent export laws and sanctions.
 
Kambiz Rostamian is MKS International’s CEO and is being designated for acting for or on behalf of MKS International and Royal Pearl General Trading.  He has dealt directly with and received payments from AIO for the procurement of goods.  Rostamian has also acted as a direct intermediary to purchase parts through MKS.
 
Rostamian is also CEO of Royal Pearl General Trading, which is being designated for acting for or on behalf of MKS International.  Royal Pearl General Trading is a front company for MKS International that has worked with SBIG and AIO to procure components for Iran’s ballistic missile program.
 
Iran-based Network Working with Navid Composite and Mabrooka Trading
 
Ervin Danesh Aryan Company and Mostafa Zahedi
Ervin Danesh Aryan Company is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Navid Composite.  Navid Composite was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 in December 2013 as an Iran-based subsidiary of U.S.- and UN-designated Sanam Industrial Group, an entity designated in July 2006 pursuant to E.O. 13382 for its involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile program.  Ervin Danesh Aryan Company created previously-designated Mabrooka Trading to import sanctioned goods into Iran.  Mabrooka Trading was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 in January 2016 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support to Navid Composite.  
 
Ervin Danesh Aryan Company has contracted with Navid Composite since at least 2015 for the procurement of laboratory equipment.  Ervin Danesh Aryan Company facilitated the financial transactions, transportation and shipping costs, and post-sale servicing for these goods on behalf of Navid Composite.  
 
Mostafa Zahedi is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Ervin Danesh Aryan Company and Mabrooka Trading.  Zahedi, as an employee of Ervin Danesh Aryan Company, sought to acquire carbon fiber production equipment from foreign suppliers. 
 
Zahedi also procured or attempted to procure via Mabrooka Trading carbon fiber-related production equipment from outside Iran on behalf of Navid Composite.
 
Zahedi and E.O. 13382-designated Hossein Pournaghshband, the Director of Mabrooka Trading, have procured for Mohammad Magham, the Managing Director of Navid Composite, and Navid Composite’s PAN-based carbon fiber production line since at least 2014.  Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers are the chemical precursor of high-quality carbon fiber.  Carbon fiber, found in high-tech and common daily applications, is used in missiles and solid propellant rocket motors.  Zahedi used Pournaghshband to procure goods from foreign suppliers ultimately destined for Magham. 
 
Since as early as mid-2014, Zahedi, occasionally acting as an employee of Mabrooka Trading, procured PAN and carbon fiber equipment from foreign suppliers for Ervin Danesh Aryan Company, on behalf of Navid Composite.  He also coordinated financial transactions between suppliers and Navid Composite for these goods.  Zahedi’s procurement on behalf of Navid Composite was also in coordination with E.O. 13382-designated Chen Mingfu.
 
Mohammad Magham
 
Mohammad Magham is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Navid Composite.
 
Since late 2014, Magham, Navid Composite’s Managing Director, worked with Zahedi and Mabrooka Trading to procure goods from foreign suppliers for use in Navid Composite’s carbon fiber production operations.
 
Navid Composite and Magham also contracted with other Iran-based companies in mid-2015 to supply PAN fiber.  The PAN fiber was for Navid Composite’s production facility in Rasht, Iran.  Magham also worked directly with E.O. 13382-designated AIO Director Mehrdad Akhlaghi Ketabachi to manage the financials of Navid Composite.  Ketabachi was designated in January 2016 pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of AIO.
 
Ghodrat Zargari and Zist Tajhiz Pooyesh Company
 
Ghodrat Zargari is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, and for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Mabrooka Trading.  Zist Tajhiz Pooyesh Company is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Mabrooka Trading.
 
Ghodrat Zargari has served as the Iran-based technical sales advisor for Mabrooka Trading and senior technical and marketing manager of Iran-based Zist Tajhiz Pooyesh Company.  In this capacity, Zargari worked with Pournaghshband and Mabrooka Trading, as well as China-based broker and Mabrooka Trading associate Mingfu, to ship goods through China to Tehran, Iran.
 
Lebanon-Based IRGC-QF Network
Hasan Dehghan Ebrahimi, an IRGC-QF official based in Beirut, Lebanon who maintains direct ties to senior IRGC-QF officials in Tehran, is being designated for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF.  Ebrahimi has facilitated cash transfers to Hizballah worth millions of dollars, including through U.S.-designated Hizballah construction firm Wa’ad Company.
Muhammad Abd-al-Amir Farhat and Yahya al-Hajj are employees of Ebrahimi and are being designated today for acting for or on his behalf.
 
Ebrahimi and his employees use a network of Lebanon-based companies with ties to the broader Middle East to transfer funds, launder money, and conduct business.  Ebrahimi is the manager of Maher Trading and Construction Company, which has been used to launder funds and smuggle goods to Hizballah and is co-located with Wa’ad Company in Beirut.  Maher is being designated today for being owned or controlled by Ebrahimi.
 
Reem Pharmaceutical, Mirage for Engineering and Trading, and Mirage for Waste Management and Environmental Services are being designated today for being owned or controlled by Muhammad Abd-al-Amir Farhat.  Since 2011, Farhat has been the Chairman of the Board of Reem, a Lebanese pharmaceutical company that also does business in Iraq and Kuwait.  In addition, he is the general manager of Mirage for Engineering and Trading, a Lebanon-based construction company that also manages projects in Iraq worth millions of dollars.  Since 1999, Farhat has also been the general manager of Mirage for Waste Management and Environmental Services, a Lebanese environmental services company specializing in the cleaning, collection, recovery, disposal, and treatment of waste. 
 
Ali Sharifi
Ali Sharifi is being designated for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF.  As of 2015, Sharifi worked to procure aviation spare parts on behalf of the IRGC-QF.  Sharifi has also worked to procure other sensitive items from sources in the Middle East and China on behalf of the IRGC-QF.
 
For identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today, click here.
 
 
 
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