PRESS STATEMENT, March 26, 2020
The United States announced today the designations of 20 individuals and entities that violate Iraqi sovereignty and exploit Iraq’s economy to funnel money to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Some of these people help provide the financial support that enables the IRGC-QF to transfer lethal aid to Iranian-backed terrorist groups such as Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), and engage in other malign activities that undermine the Iraqi government’s efforts toward energy independence.
Among today’s designations include entities and individuals that exploit for the benefit of the IRGC-QF Iraq’s dependence on Iranian electricity imports. Under a U.S.-issued sanctions waiver, Iraq is permitted to engage in financial transactions related to the import of electricity from Iran. The purpose of this waiver, which the United States is renewing today, is to meet the immediate energy needs of the Iraqi people.
Today’s designations underscore that the United States will not tolerate profiteering by malign Iranian actors from transactions that take place under the sanctions waiver, and we will remain focused on sanctioning those who do so for the benefit of the IRGC-QF or other designated terrorist groups. Iraq is rich in natural resources and has the ability to reduce its energy dependence on Iran, both for the sake of Iraq’s security and the welfare of its people.
The United States engages regularly with the Iraqi government on energy security, and we support measures that reduce Iraq’s energy dependence on Iran. We look forward to a speedy resolution to Iraq’s government formation process and to working with an Iraqi government that is committed to providing the Iraqi people with the security they deserve.
Source: U.S. Department of State