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‘Biden’ Admin Drops Sanctions on 3 Iranians ‘Providing Support to Entity Supporting Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program’

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U.S. Drops Sanctions on 3 Iranians ‘Providing Support to Entity Supporting Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program’

By Craig Bannister | CNS July 2, 2021 |

On Friday, the U.S. Treasury announced that it has lifted sanctions on three Iranians who had been sanctioned in connection with Iran’s ballistic missile program.

According to a Treasury Department press release, sanctions on Behzad Ferdows, Mehrzad Ferdows, and Mohammad Reza Dezfulian have been removed.

On September 21, 2020, the Trump Administration announced and explained the Treasury Department’s imposition of the sanctions on Mammut Industries and individuals, including the three Iranians, related to the company “for providing support to an entity in Iran’s ballistic missile program”:

SANCTIONS ON IRAN’S BALLISIC MISSILE PROGRAMS

Treasury designated Iran-based Mammut Industrial Group (Mammut Industries) and its subsidiary Mammut Diesel pursuant to E.O. 13382 for providing support to an entity in Iran’s ballistic missile program. Mammut Industries and Mammut Diesel are key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programs. Since early 2000, Mammut Industries has supported the production of ballistic missile equipment for Iran’s AIO and specifically, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), Iran’s primary developer of liquid propelled missiles. As of late-2019, Mammut Industries continued to support SHIG’s production of ballistic missile equipment. Behzad Ferdows and Mehrzad Ferdows are two of the shareholders of Mammut Industries, and Mehrzad Ferdows is also the company’s CEO. Mohammad Reza Dezfulian is the Managing Director of Mammut Diesel. Behzad Ferdows, Mehrzad Ferdows, and Mohammad Reza Dezfulian were designated pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Also designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 are AIO official Asghar Esma’ilpur and long-time SHIG official Mohammad Gholami. Esma’ilpur has served as the Director of SHIG’s Shahid Haj Ali Movahed Research Center, which has played a key role in Iranian-North Korean missile cooperation. Treasury designated Shahid Haj Ali Movahed Research Center pursuant to E.O. 13382 on March 24, 2016 under the name Shahid Movahed Industries and has now updated its SDN listing to reflect this new alias.

Treasury also updated the SDN listing for Seid Mir Ahmad Nooshin. Nooshin previously served as the Director of SHIG and, in that role, was key to negotiations with the North Koreans on long-range missile development projects. Nooshin’s entry on the SDN List was updated to reflect his current position as the Director of AIO.

“Persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.”

On Friday, Reuters reported that an unnamed “Treasury spokesperson” denied that the delistings are related to the Biden Administration’s ongoing Iran nuclear deal negotiations:

“A Treasury spokesperson stressed that the U.S. decision to drop the three from its list of Specially Designated Nationals who are subject to certain U.S. sanctions had nothing to do with indirect talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

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