The Treasury Department Thursday sanctioned an Iraqi airline and an a Syrian aviation executive for efforts to subvert international sanctions against Iran’s Mahan Air and aid the embattled Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.
Citing a counterterrorism executive order, the agency targeted Iraq-based Al-Naser Airlines and well as Syrian businessman Issam Shammout and his firm Sky Blue Bird Aviation, which is based in the United Arab Emirates.
The agency said the Iraqi airline and Syrian businessmen were providing material and technological support to Mahan Air, with was blacklisted by the U.S. government in October 2011 for supporting Iran’s feared Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.
Al-Naser reportedly helped procure airplanes for Mahan Air, including eight Airbus A340 planes and one Airbus A320 aircraft. Mahan Air works with Iranian special forces to ferry weapons, funds and operatives into Syrian in support of the Assad regime, Treasury said in its announcement.
The Thursday sanctions mean that all property and interests tied to the Iraqi airline or Syrian aviation magnate are blocked and U.S. citizens are banned from doing business with them.
In a related move, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued an order denying export privileges to Al-Naser as well as the companies Bahar Safwa General Trading and Ali Abdullah Alhay. The action, it said, came because of illegal export of civilian aircraft to Mahan Air.