On 4th July, Al-Arabiya reported that the recent US sanctions on the Iraqi-based South Wealth Resources Company (SWRC) have shone a light on how Iranian-backed militias are continuing to receive arms legally despite sanctions.  It was designated for smuggling arms worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Iraqi militias linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), but is said to be just one of many Iraq-based companies circumventing US sanctions using legal cover.  They are said to do so by using a financial network consisting of hundreds of companies that claim to work in general trade, exchange, money transfer, agriculture, industry, and construction.  It is said that there are at least 667 companies that are influenced by the IRGC, either through equity shares or positions on the board of directors.  Despite the US freezing business activities and targeting boards of directors of numerous banks, financial institutions, and companies, dozens of other companies have been established legally under different names.  The article says that a source close to Iraqi armed militias said that 4 men play a prominent role in arms trafficking on the Iraqi-Iranian border under “front companies” – Shibl al-Zaidi, the secretary general of the Iraqi Imam Ali Brigade; Sheikh Mohammed Kawtharni, a Lebanese national; Mohammed Jaber Abu Jaafar, a Syrian; and Sheikh Hussein al-Safi, an Iraqi.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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