US announces forfeiture of Iranian oil and missiles seized on the way to Yemen, Venezuela

 Washington Examiner:

The Justice Department announced that it was filing a forfeiture complaint related to two large shipments of Iranian missiles the U.S. Navy seized that were bound for Iranian-backed militants in Yemen sent by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been designated a foreign terrorist group by the United States.

The agency simultaneously announced the court-approved sale of 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum that the U.S. seized from four foreign-flagged oil tankers in transit to Venezuela from the IRGC in defiance of U.S. sanctions, with the U.S. intending to take the proceeds from the fuel sales and provide them to the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

The Justice Department called these moves “the government’s largest-ever forfeitures actions for fuel and weapons shipments from Iran.” U.S. Navy Central Command seized the weapons from two flagless ships in the Arabian Sea in November 2019 and February 2020, including “171 guided anti-tank missiles, eight surface-to-air missiles, land attack cruise missile components, anti-ship cruise missile components, thermal weapons optics, and other components for missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.” The DOJ said the recently unsealed 20-page forfeiture action “is part of a larger investigation of an Iranian weapons smuggling network … involved in the illicit trafficking of advanced conventional weapons systems and components, including systems that contain U.S.-origin components, by sanctioned Iranian entities that directly support military action by the Houthis movement in Yemen and the Iranian regime’s campaign of terrorist activities throughout the region.”

The U.S. decision to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group in 2019 followed an announcement from the State Department revealing that Iran is responsible for the deaths of at least 603 U.S. service members in Iraq. Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in January.

 “The two forfeiture complaints allege sophisticated schemes by the IRGC to secretly ship weapons to Yemen and fuel to Venezuela, countries that pose grave threats to the security and stability of their regions. These actions represent the government’s largest-ever civil seizures of fuel and weapons from Iran. Iran continues to be a leading state sponsor of terrorism and a worldwide destabilizing force,” John Demers, the assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s national security division, said on Thursday, adding, “these cases also highlight that enforcement of the sanctions against Iran remains one of the department’s national security priorities. For the last several years, cases involving Iran’s efforts to evade the restrictions designed to curb its malign conduct comprise more than 40 percent of the export control and sanctions prosecutions that the department brings.”

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If Biden wins the election next week these rogue regimes may get away with their threats to the regions.  The Obama-Biden administration did the terrible deal with Iran that put it on a glide path to nuclear weapons that would feed its genocidal thirst. 

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