US sanctions, charges Iran targets alongside Iraq-Syria strikes

In issuing the latest US sanctions on Friday, the Treasury said IRGC-affiliated cyber actors recently hacked and posted images on screens of controllers manufactured by an Israeli company, Unitronics.

“Unauthorised access to critical infrastructure systems can enable actions that harm the public and cause devastating humanitarian consequences,” the department said.

A State Department spokesperson added that “actors used default credentials to display an anti-Israel message” on the controllers’ interface.

Separately, the United States sanctioned four Iran- and Hong Kong-based entities, saying they “operated as covert procurement entities” for individuals actively supporting Iranian military organisations like the IRGC.

Another target was Hong Kong-based China Oil and Petroleum Company, allegedly involved in selling “hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian commodities” for the benefit of the IRGC Quds Force – the foreign operations arm of the Revolutionary Guards.

Terrorism, sanctions evasion, fraud and money laundering charges were unveiled in New York, the US financial centre, by prosecutors against seven key figures in the oil-laundering network.

“Today’s charges show how, as alleged, the IRGC’s Qods force built a sprawling international network of front companies to launder sanctioned Iranian oil using lies, forgery, and threats of violence,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

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