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US posts $15mn bounty for help with ‘disrupting’ finances of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps

US posts $15mn bounty for help with ‘disrupting’ finances of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps
The US government has offered a reward of up to $15 million for information that helps “disrupt” the financial operations of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), while slapping a new round of sanctions on Tehran.

The lavish bounty was announced on Wednesday as part of the Rewards for Justice program, run by the State Department, which offers financial incentives for information on alleged “terrorist activities” that target the US. The IRGC, an elite branch of Tehran’s military, was designated by Washington as a terrorist organization in April.

The US State Department is seeking information on any companies and individuals who allegedly help the IRGC with “evading US and international sanctions” as well as those who merely “do business” with the military unit.

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Apart from issuing the bounty notice, Washington has issued a new sanctions package against an “oil-for-terror” network  – as they put it – allegedly run by the IRGC. The sanctions broadside targeted 16 companies and nine individuals, allegedly involved in supplying Iranian oil to Syria in breach of US sanctions. Six oil tankers linked to such activities were also placed on the list.

The new round of sanctions and the bounty offer were lauded by top US officials, who gave themselves a pat on the back for taking action against the alleged network.

Washington will continue to impose new sanctions on the country to maintain “maximum pressure,” US special representative for Iran Brian Hook said, adding that “we are not looking to grant any exceptions or waivers.”

Such an approach effectively buries France’s idea to provide Tehran with a $15 billion credit line, suggested earlier by Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian, who explicitly said that such a deal would require sanction waivers from the US. The proposed credit arrangement would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues and require Tehran to comply with the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, as well as to enter negotiations on regional security.

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Tehran has repeatedly urged the EU countries to actually do something to save the 2015 agreement and secure sanctions relief from the US. Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave Europe two months to do so, promising to further rollback on its commitments under the JCPOA if this doesn’t happen.

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