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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 July 2018

UAE orders asset freeze for Iranian-linked individuals and companies

Nine on list are accused of channeling funds to Iran's Revolutionary Guards

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Reuters
Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Reuters

The UAE has ordered brokers and other financial institutions to identify and freeze the assets of nine individuals and businesses accused of funding Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

The Securities and Commodities Authority made the announcement on Tuesday, national news agency WAM reported.

In May, the nine - six individuals and three companies - were placed on the UAE's list of terrorists and terrorist organisations for suspected connections with the guard's elite Quds Force.

At the time, UAE and US said it had disrupted a multi-million-dollar network that was allowing the Iranian military to access millions of US dollars.

“The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire US 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 US dollars were acquired,” Treasury secretary Stephen Mnuchin said in May.

Iran's central bank was in 2015 accused of working with sanctioned Iranian companies and others to find ways to obtain US dollars, including using front companies. Reuters reported that at least $1 billion in cash had been smuggled into Iran despite US and other sanctions.

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