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U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran central bank governor

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

By Lesley Wroughton

(Reuters) - The on Tuesday imposed sanctions on and an Iraq-based for "moving millions of dollars" for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, as seeks to cut off funding it says is using to fund militant activities overseas.

accused chief of covertly funneling money on behalf of the revolutionary guard's external arm, (IRGC-QF), through Al-Bilad "to enrich and support the of Hezbollah."

The move cuts off Iran's use of a critical network, he said. The classifies Lebanon's Muslim movement Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, as a terrorist organization.

"It is appalling, but not surprising, that Iran's senior-most official would conspire with the IRGC-QF to facilitate funding of like Hezbollah, and it undermines any credibility he could claim in protecting the integrity of the institution as a central bank governor," Mnuchin said in a statement.

Speaking in Brussels, Iran's called the sanctions against Seif illegal.

The also blacklisted Ali Tarzali, of Iran's central bank, and the of Al-Bilad Islamic Bank,

It said Habib had a history of smuggling money to Iranian-backed Iraqi groups and "enabled the IRGC-QF's exploitation of Iraq's sector to move funds from to Hezbollah, jeopardizing the integrity of the Iraqi financial system."

The department said the sanctions would not immediately affect central It said, however, that sanctions being reimposed after the withdrawal of the from the nuclear deal would affect certain U.S. dollar transactions by the central bank starting from Aug. 7, 2018.

Last week, two days after U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, the imposed sanctions against six individuals and three companies it said were funneling millions of dollars to the IRGC-QF.

British, French and German foreign ministers met in on Tuesday to try to find a way to save the nuclear deal without the United States, but appeared hard-pressed over how their companies could continue doing business with once begins to reimpose sanctions.

The IRGC is by far Iran's most powerful security organization and has control over large stakes in Iran's economy and huge influence in its political system. The is an elite unit in charge of the IRGC overseas operations.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, additional reporting by in Brussels; editing by and Rosalba O'Brien)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 03:33 IST