US Sanctions Chinese Company Connected to Iranian Airline

May 19, 2020 Updated: May 19, 2020

The Treasury Department sanctioned a Chinese company on Tuesday, saying it has helped the Iranian airline Mahan Air.

The company, Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited, is designated as a general sales agent (GSA) for or on behalf of Mahan Air, which was designated by the United States as a supporter of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), a foreign terrorist organization.

“The Iranian regime is using Mahan Air to support an illegitimate and corrupt regime in Venezuela, just as it has done for the regime in Syria and for terrorist proxy groups throughout the Middle East,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “We will not hesitate to target those entities that continue to maintain commercial relationships with Mahan Air.”

This is the seventh sanction against Mahan Air the United States has issued singe 2018.

As a result of the sanction, the Treasury Department mandated that all of the company’s property and interests in the United States be blocked and reported to the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

All dealings with the company by U.S. persons or with the United States are also prohibited.

The sanction came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on countries to deny overflight rights to Mahan Air.

Speaking at a State Department news conference on April 29, Pompeo said aircraft belonging to the privately owned Mahan Air, Iran’s largest airline, delivered supplies to Nicolas Maduro’s government.

“Over the last few days, multiple aircraft belonging to Mahan Air have transferred unknown support to the Maduro regime,” Pompeo said. “This is the same terrorist airline that Iran used to move weapons and fighters around the Middle East.”

The flights “must stop,” Pompeo continued, adding that countries should deny Mahan Air overflight rights “just as many have already denied landing rights to this sanctioned airline.”

The Trump administration has waged a campaign of sanctions and diplomatic measures against Venezuela in an effort to oust Maduro, whose 2018 reelection was considered a sham by most Western countries.

Reuters contributed to the report.

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