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US, Gulf allies jointly sanction networks supporting Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Lebanon’s Hizballah

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin visiting Jet Blue's Long Island City Support Center to meet with the company's leadership and crew members Friday, March 9, 2018 in Queens, New York. (Kevin C. Downs/New York Daily News/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Six U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf have joined the United States in imposing sanctions on 25 entities associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Tehran’s “regional proxy,” the Lebanese militant group Hizballah.

The U.S. Treasury Department said on October 30 that the sanctions were set by the Riyadh-based Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) to tighten controls on both group’s finances.

Created in 2017, the TFTC includes the United States as well as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

All 25 entities had previously been targeted by the U.S. Treasury.

“The TFTC’s coordinated disruption of the financial networks used by the Iranian regime to fund terrorism is a powerful demonstration of Gulf unity,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.

“This action demonstrates the unified position of the Gulf nations and the United States that Iran will not be allowed to escalate its malign activity in the region,” said Mnuchin.

The coordinated action targeted companies supporting the Basij force, a volunteer paramilitary organization linked to the IRGC that the Treasury said is used to “oppress domestic opposition with brutal displays of violence” and supply fighters to conflicts in the region.

Iranian Bank Mellat and mining, manufacturing, and investment companies accused of supporting the Basij are also among the 25 targeted entities.

Four of those listed were “Hizballah-affiliated individuals who lead and coordinate the group’s operational, intelligence, and financial activities in Iraq,” the Treasury said.