The Treasury Department has named the head of the Central Bank of Iran, Valiollah Seif, as a “specially designated terrorist” and imposed sanctions on him. Also caught up were another major Iraqi banker, Aras Habib, and a Hezbollah figure, Muhammad Qasir.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) May 15, 2018
Seif was sanctioned for funneling millions of dollars to Hezbollah. In Seif’s case, secondary sanctions were imposed which means that anyone who does business with him will also be subject to sanctions. This does not affect the operations of Iran’s central bank.
This follows up on Treasury shutting down another Iranian money laundering network last week.
The action against Seif does not sanction the Central Bank of Iran, though the bank is targeted under sanctions President Donald Trump reinstated when he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.
By Nov. 5, sanctions will be re-imposed on those engaging with “certain significant transactions” with Iran’s central bank.
What this indicates, however, is that the administration is not only looking to use sanctions to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program but to begin crippling Iranian efforts to extend its influence in Iraq and Syria.