The United States Department of the Treasury announced Thursday sanctions against Turkish businessman Sitki Ayan for allegedly facilitating the sale of Iranian oil, alleging that the Iranian authorities thus evade the imposed sanctions.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has indicated that Ayan would be the leader of a sanctions evasion network that “facilitates the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in oil for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
“Ayan’s companies established international sales contracts for Iranian oil with foreign buyers, arranged shipments of crude, and helped launder the proceeds, concealing the origin of the oil,” reads a statement from the Department.
The US office has indicated that the businessman acts as director and chairman of the board of directors of ASB Group, a company registered in Gibraltar, which has transferred millions of dollars for the Revolutionary Guard and its international branch, Quds Force.
Likewise, it would have used several more companies, associated with ASB Group, to facilitate Iranian crude deals, some of them directed to Russian companies also sanctioned or to buyers in China.
“Today’s action complements Treasury’s May designations and demonstrates the United States’ continued commitment to denying the IRGC-QF (Revolutionary Guard) its revenue streams and attacking those who abuse the international financial system in support of the group,” has indicated the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.
The Treasury has recalled that the Revolutionary Guard was sanctioned by the United States in 2007 for providing support to multiple terrorist groups.