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U.S. Treasury sanctions Iranians, Chinese for supporting Assad

May 17 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday sanctioned seven entities in Iran and China for selling missile systems to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Two top Iranian defense officials were named personally for allegedly providing missile technology to the Syrian government, along with a Chinese electronics company the Treasury Department said manufactured missile-guiding technology on behalf of Iran.

The Treasury Department froze U.S. assets belonging to the Iranian officials, Morteza Farasatpour and Rahim Ahmadi. The same was done for Chinese electronics company Ruan Runling and three associated businesses, along with the Iranian company Matin Sanat Nik Andishan. The designations also make it illegal for U.S. banks, companies or citizens to do do business with them.

The Treasury Department said Farasatpour was responsible for coordinating the multimillion-dollar sale and delivery of ballistic missiles from Iran to Assad’s regime in Syria for use in the country’s civil war. Ahmadi is the Iranian official in charge of developing the missile system. The Chinese are accused of providing the technology needed to guide the missiles.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the U.S. government will continue to crack down on individuals and businesses that support Assad.

“This administration is committed to countering Iran’s destabilizing behavior, such as Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and support to the Assad regime. It is alarming that individuals involved with Iran’s missile program are assisting the brutal Assad regime, and we are taking action to curtail this behavior,” Mnuchin said. “These sanctions target Iranian officials as well as a China-based network that are providing support to Syria and supplying items to further Iran’s ballistic weapons program. The United States will remain vigilant when it comes to Iran.”

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