The captains of five ships from Iranian companies from the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), who delivered gasoline to the Nicolas Maduro regime in early June, have been sanctioned by the U.S Treasury Department on Wednesday.
Upon their arrival at Venezuelan ports, the men were feting by Vice President Tareck El Aissami, a U.S-wanted man with a $10 million bounty on his head. The captains even posed for local media, waving Iranian and Venezuelan flags.
For their role in a scheme “to deliver Iranian gasoline to the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela,” the five were sanctioned and have been “now added to OFAC’s Specially Designated National and Blocked Persons List” Treasury reported in a web posting.
The five sanctioned are:
1) Ali Danaei Kenarsari, “an employee of IRISL and the master of the CLAVEL, which is an IRISL-managed tanker that has delivered Iranian gasoline to Venezuela,” Treasury stated.
2) Mohsen Gohardehi, the master of the PETUNIA.
3) Alireza Rahnavard, the master of the FORTUNE.
4) Reza Vaziri, the master of the FOREST
5) Hamidreza Yahya Zadeh, master of the FAXON.
The Iranian-flagged ships CLAVEL, PETUNIA, FORTUNE, FOREST, and FAXON furnished Maduro with “gasoline and gasoline components.”
“The Treasury Department will target anyone who supports Iranian attempts to evade United States sanctions and who further enables their destabilizing behavior around the world,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, according to the posting. “The Iranian regime’s support to the authoritarian and corrupt regime in Venezuela is unacceptable, and the Administration will continue to use its authorities to disrupt it.”
Due to its refining problems, Iran is hardly in a position to provide Maduro with gasoline.
In 2019, Iranian authorities were violently crackdown on its people when they protested gasoline rationing and the increased prices in November 2019 when “the Iranian government imposed strict rationing and a 50 percent price hike on gasoline. When the Iranian people protested the abrupt cuts in fuel subsidies, the regime’s security forces brutally cracked down on the demonstrators, resulting in the killing of approximately 1,500 people, including women and children,” Treasury Department stated
As a result of Wednesday’s actions, Treasury warns that “all property and interests of these targets that are in the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked, and must be reported to the OFAC.
Additionally, “persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals identified today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to enforcement action. Furthermore, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction(s) for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions,” Treasury added.