US sanctions against a Turkish businessman on charges of breaching sanctions against Iran and money laundering. Last Minute WORLD headlines and events
The Biden administration has placed Turkish businessman Sitka Ayan and his companies on a sanctions list for allegedly brokering oil sales on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and money laundering.
Ayan’s companies entered into international contracts to sell Iranian oil, orchestrated shipments and concealed the source of the oil on behalf of Iran’s Quds Force, a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, helping to launder proceeds, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.
“Ayan has entered into commercial contracts to sell millions of dollars worth of oil to China, the United Arab Emirates and Europe,” the statement said, adding that those proceeds were later transferred to Quds Force.
It was noted that Ayan’s son Bahaddin Ayan, his partner Kasym Oztas and two other Turkish citizens were blacklisted along with 26 companies, including the ASB group of companies, which is headquartered in Gibraltar and is used as an intermediary in this activity.
Reuters news agency was unable to contact Sitki Ayan, his son Bahaddin Ayan and his partner Kasym Oztash for comment. Ayan’s ASB group of companies and the president’s communications department have not yet responded to questions from the news agency.
The US Treasury freezes the assets of those on the sanctions list, often preventing Americans from doing business with them. Those who do business with names on the list also face the risk of sanctions.
The US move coincided with a period of tension over a number of reasons, such as disagreements over Turkey’s Syria policy and the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
Finally, after Ankara said it was preparing a possible ground operation against the YPG, Washington warned Turkey to refrain from this operation. The YPG, which Turkey sees as an extension of the PKK, leads a group called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the US supports in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
Washington continues to pressure him to restart the 2015 nuclear deal while maintaining sweeping sanctions against Iran.
After former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018, President Joe Biden tried to negotiate a return for Iran to the deal.
The 2015 agreement provided for the relaxation of international sanctions imposed on the country in exchange for making it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear weapons by limiting Iran’s uranium enrichment activities. Iran rejects accusations that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
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