U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
November 20, 2018
The United States today sanctioned an international network by which the Iranian regime and Russia are providing millions of barrels of oil to the Assad regime in exchange for the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, and for onward transfer to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hizballah.
The sanctions levied today directly target the Iranian regime’s exploitation of the international financial system to hide revenue streams it uses to fund terrorist activity, provide support for sectarian militias responsible for abuses against civilian populations, and destabilize the region. The Iranian regime, Iranian-commanded forces inside Syria, and the proxy terrorist groups it supports such as those targeted today, continue to foment instability to extend their malign influence. These actions by the Iranian and Assad regimes undermine the legitimate processes to resolve the conflict in Syria.
Today’s sanctions, in conjunction with economic, diplomatic, and other strategic initiatives, are part of the U.S. government’s long-term maximum pressure campaign to counter the Iranian regime’s influence and destabilizing regional activities, to deny it the funds it uses to bankroll terrorist and militant proxies, and to secure the removal of all Iranian forces from Syria.
They are also part of the United States’ effort to bring to bear on the Syrian regime the pressure necessary to help bring about a political resolution of the Syrian conflict. Disrupting the illicit network that we have designated today is a crucial element of a broader effort to disrupt the material ties between the Assad regime and its IRGC patrons. This effort will continue in the months to come.
We are committed to imposing a financial toll on the Iranian regime, Russia, and others who prop up the Assad regime and enable its abuses, as well as to disrupt the Iranian regime’s funding of terrorist organizations. The United States will use every available tool to combat the Iranian regime’s destabilizing and destructive influence in Syria and throughout the region.