US Treasury: Iran airline, officials help ship arms
The U.S. Treasury said on Tuesday it had identified an Iranian cargo airline, three Iranian military officials and a Nigerian shipping agent as helping to support arms shipments to the Middle East and Africa, Reuters reported.
The airline is Yas Air, based in Tehran. The officials, whom Treasury links to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are Esmail Ghani, Sayyid Tabatabaei and Hosein Aghajani. The Nigerian shipping agent is Ali Jega.
"Today's action again exposes Iran's malign influence in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond," David Cohen, a Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a release.
Under executive order 13224 signed by former President George W. Bush after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, the government is authorized to block assets of foreign individuals and entities it believes have committed or pose high risks of committing acts of terrorism.
Treasury said Jega was involved in a weapons shipment seized in Nigeria in October 2010, which it says was coordinated by Iran and aimed at Gambia. The seizure uncovered grenades, rockets, mortars and ammunition hidden in construction materials, the Treasury said.