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US sanctions network smuggling American tech to Iran's central bank

The US says Iran's central bank has provided support to the foreign arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
— Washington (AFP)

The US Treasury Department unveiled sanctions against a network of companies and individuals Friday for facilitating illegal technology transfers from dozens of US firms to Iranian entities, including the country's central bank.

The sanctions relate to Informatics Services Corporation (ISC), the technology arm of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the Treasury Department said in a statement.

It also sanctioned a number of alleged ISC subsidiaries and front companies based in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and three individuals allegedly linked to them including Pouria Mirdamadi, a French-Iranian dual national.

Brian Nelson, the US Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the CBI "has played a critical role" in providing financial support to Lebanon's Hezbollah and the foreign arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, known as the Quds Force.

"The United States will continue to use all available means to disrupt the Iranian regime's illicit attempts to procure sensitive US technology and critical inputs," he said in a statement.

The Treasury's move freezes any US assets associated with the sanctioned individuals and entities, and generally prohibits Americans from doing business with them.