US sanctions financial backers of Iranian airline

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US sanctioned on Thursday Iraq-based Al-Naser Airlines, Syrian businessman Issam Shammout, and his UAE-based Sky Blue Bird Aviation for providing support to Iran's Mahan Air, indicated a statement from the US Treasury.

Mahan Air was designated in October 2011 for providing financial, material and technological support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods force, a group that was sanctioned in 2007 for its support to numerous terrorist groups.

"These designations are the result of a US Government-wide effort targeting Al-Naser's procurement of aircraft for Mahan Air," indicated the statement.

Acting Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin stressed, "We will continue to actively counter Iranian sanctions evasion, whether in support of terrorist entities or other sanctioned parties...We will not hesitate to sanction those who help these endeavors." The statement highlighted that Al-Naser airlines transferred at least eight Airbus A340 and one Airbus A320 to Mahan Air. Shammout and his company Sky Blue Bird Aviation helped Mahan Air procure aircraft and parts.

"As a result of today's action, all property and interests in property under US jurisdiction in which Al-Naser Airlines, Sky Blue Bird Aviation, or Issam Shammout have an interest are blocked, and US persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them," affirmed the Treasury.

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