US sanctions sales agent for blacklisted Iranian airline

The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions Monday on firm in Malaysia for acting as a sales representative for an Iranian airline accused by the US of providing support to terror groups.

The sanctioned company, Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd, helped facilitate Mahan Air’s operations overseas, in particular by carrying out financial transactions for the airline, the Treasury Department said. The firm is a general sales agent, which provides various services on an airline’s behalf.

Mahan was sanctioned in 2011 for its ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which oversees Iran’s military activities abroad and is itself under US sanctions.

“Our action against an independent company providing General Sales Agent services to Mahan makes clear to all in the aviation industry that they urgently need to sever all ties and distance themselves immediately from this airline,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

“Companies that continue to service Mahan aircraft, or facilitate Mahan flights in and out of airports in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, are on notice that they do so at great financial risk,” he added.

The Treasury Department said any US assets of the company would be frozen under the sanctions.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks at a news briefing at the Hilton Midtown hotel during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

According to the Treasury Department, Mahan Travel and Tourism provided reservation and ticketing services for the Iranian airline for at least eight years and was Mahan’s only agent in Kuala Lampur, the Malaysian capital.

Mahan has been accused by the US and Israel of transporting weapons and equipment on behalf of the Quds Force to terror groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Monday’s sanctions were the latest steps by the US targeting Iranian aviation and come a day after Dutch airline KLM said it would no longer fly to Tehran in light of the re-imposition of US sanctions as part of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear accord.

This article originally appeared here via Google News