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US Treasury targets individuals, companies it says fund elite Iranian force

The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on nine Iranian individuals and alleged front companies it said funneled millions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force.

The move aimed at disrupting the finances of the Iranian special forces unit blamed by Israel for attacks on posts in the Golan Heights was taken jointly with the United Arab Emirates and came days after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and reinstate sanctions on Tehran.

The Treasury also accused Iran's central bank, BANK MARKAZI JOMHOURI ISLAMI IRAN, of supporting the network's currency conversion activities. The department said the network operating in Iran and the UAE had converted "hundreds of millions of dollars."

"The Iranian regime and its central bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire U.S. dollars to fund the IRGC-QF's malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the U.S. dollars were acquired," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the statement. "We are intent on cutting off IRGC revenue streams wherever their source and whatever their destination."

The Treasury action follows Trump's decision on May 8 to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Businesses with commercial interests in Iran have been given either 90 or 180 days to wind down those operations.