Turkish citizen, companies designated as global terrorists by US Treasury

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Thursday designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) a Turkish citizen and a network of Istanbul-based firms among nine individuals and entities procuring export-controlled, US-origin goods for sanctioned Iranian airlines.

They were designated as SDGTs pursuant to an executive order that targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

OFAC is designating Turkish citizen Gülnihal Yegane and a network of Istanbul-based firms, including Trigron Lojistik, RA Havacılık, and 3G Lojistik, for enabling designated Iranian airline Mahan Air to secure key aviation goods and services and sustain its fleet of Western-manufactured aircraft.

Among the nine companies are also Iran-based Blue Airways and Turkey-based Otik Aviation, in connection with Mahan Air.

Yegane is being designated for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, Mahan Air. Istanbul-based Yegane manages multiple businesses that purchase and/or receive aviation parts from foreign vendors, including export-controlled, US-origin items, who then forward those parts to Mahan Air. Yegane’s businesses have purchased export-controlled, US-origin engines from foreign vendors that were delivered to Istanbul and forwarded to Mahan Air.

“The facilitators designated by the Treasury today have been procuring parts and providing services for the fleets of sanctioned Iranian airlines, including Mahan Air, Caspian Air, Meraj Air, and Pouya Air. In so doing, they extend a lifeline to the IRGC-QF and enable the Iranian regime to transport weapons, fighters, and money to its proxies, including Hizballah, and to prop up the brutal Assad regime,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said, adding: “Countries and companies around the world should take note of the risks associated with granting landing rights and providing aviation services to the airlines used by Iran to export terrorism throughout the region. The deceptive practices these airlines employ to illegally obtain services and US goods is yet another example of the duplicitous ways in which the Iranian regime has operated.”

Otik Aviation was also accused of “providing material support to Mahan Air, and regularly supplying the Iranian airline with export-controlled, US-origin aircraft parts.”

As a result of today’s actions, Yegane, Trigron Lojistik, 3G Lojistik, RA Havacılık and Otik Aviation are subject to secondary sanctions imposed by the US Treasury.

Turkey will take every initiative to protect its firms from US sanctions, Ankara’s foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Friday. (turkishminute.com)

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