US sanctions Erdoğan confidant after POLITICO report – POLITICO

The United States has sanctioned Turkish energy tycoon Sitki Ayan, a confidant of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accusing the businessman of helping Iran undertake illicit oil sales to fund terrorist proxies in the country. countries, including the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Thursday’s announcement of the sanctions came just hours after POLITICO published an investigation into Ayan’s dealings with Iran’s Quds Force, a paramilitary affiliate of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for its overseas operations.

The U.S. Treasury, which oversees the implementation of U.S. sanctions, said in a statement that Ayan ran “a sanctions busting network” that facilitated the sale of “hundreds of millions of dollars of oil” for the Force. Quds.

“Ayan’s companies established international sales contracts for Iranian oil with foreign buyers, arranged oil shipments and helped launder profits, obscuring the Iranian origin of the oil and the [Quds Force’s] interest in sales,” the Treasury said.

In May, the United States imposed sanctions on a number of shell companies and others involved in Ayan’s network, but left the businessman untouched, possibly due to its close relations with Erdoğan, an important American partner in the Middle East and beyond.

Besides Ayan and his energy conglomerate, the ASB Group, the Treasury sanctioned his son Bahaddin, who works for the company, and Kasim Oztas, a senior executive of this company.

Those sanctioned will have their US assets frozen and Americans will not be able to do business with them. Non-Americans who do business with the parties may also face sanctions, a risk that generally makes it difficult for people on the sanctions list to continue doing business.


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