- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Treasury Department on Tuesday added two Iranian groups and seven Iranians to its terrorism blacklist for their support of terrorists in Afghanistan and the Middle East under the guise of providing development assistance or social services.

The designations target the Iranian government’s support for terrorism and terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and the Taliban.

In a statement, the Treasury Department said Iran’s Quds Force, an elite arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, provides “select members” of the Taliban in Afghanistan with weapons, funding and training. It added that Tehran trains, equips and funds Iraqi Shiite militant groups.

The Treasury Department sanctioned:

• Hushang Allahdad, financial officer for the Quds Force since at least 2002, who personally oversees distribution of funds to terrorist groups in the Middle East.

• Gen. Hossein Musavi, commander of the Quds Force’s Ansar Corps, who provides financial and material support to the Taliban.

• Col. Hasan Mortezavi, a senior officer in the Quds Force.

• Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of the Quds Force in Lebanon, who has acted as a liaison to Hezbollah and Syrian intelligence services. He reportedly is charged with guaranteeing weapons shipments to Hezbollah.

• The Lebanese branch of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee (IKRC), for providing financial and material support to Hezbollah.

• Ali Zuraik, director of IKRC in Lebanon, who has publicly said his group operates under the aegis of Hezbollah.

• Razi Musavi, a Syria-based Iranian official who has provided financial and material support to Hezbollah.

Treasury also sanctioned the Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon and its director, Hessam Khoshnevis, for providing financial, material and technological support to Hezbollah.

The department described Hezbollah as the largest recipient of Iranian financial aid, training and weaponry, and said Iran provides similar assistance to Hamas.

“Iran is the primary funder of Hezbollah and has long been recognized as the most active state sponsor of terrorism,” it said.

Treasury also tightened sanctions against 21 entities linked to Iran’s banking, insurance and investment, mining and engineering industries. They are based in Japan, Germany, Italy, Belarus and Luxembourg, as well as Iran.

The Iranian Transactions Regulations prohibit transactions between U.S. citizens and the government of Iran. Any assets the designees have under U.S. jurisdiction have been frozen.

Treasury said that by identifying these entities — including banks, investment companies and technology firms — “U.S. persons and others are better able to identify Iranian government entities and protect themselves against the risks posed by such entities.”

At the State Department, spokesman P.J.Crowley said, “The cost of doing business for Iran is going up.”

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