By Dave Reynolds
The Trump administration is offering up to $15 million for information that helps disrupt Iran’s sources of funding for terrorism.
Special Representative for #Iran Brian Hook announced that the U.S. is offering rewards of up to $15 million for anyone who can help disrupt the financial operations of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Submit a tip by visiting https://t.co/mpTeFmrsJg. pic.twitter.com/H5JM4PiYau
— Department of State (@StateDept) September 5, 2019
Specifically, the reward from the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program is for details connected to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of the Islamic regime in Iran that the U.S. designated a terrorist organization in April.
“We have taken this step because the IRGC operates more like a terrorist organization than it does a government,” U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters September 4. He said this is the first time the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program has targeted an entity of a foreign government.
Primarily through its Qods Force, the IRGC carries out and directs Tehran’s dangerous and destabilizing global terrorist campaigns.
Started in 1984, Rewards for Justice has paid out more than $150 million to more than 100 people who have provided information that led to terrorist prosecutions or prevented attacks.
The U.S. is seeking information on people or businesses that help the IRGC evade sanctions, including a vast IRGC network that in recent months has provided upward of a billion dollars’ worth of crude oil and other fuel to support Syria’s Bashar Assad, Hizballah and other malign actors.
“Iran wants these groups to extend the borders of the regime’s revolution and sow chaos and sectarian violence,” Hook said.
U.S. officials also announced sanctions against the shipping network, targeting 16 entities, 10 individuals and 11 vessels. They warned the international shipping community that the IRGC often disguises its shipments. The deceptive tactics include falsifying documents and shutting off ships’ transponders in violation of international law.
“Iran’s exportation of oil directly funds acts of terrorism by Iranian proxies and atrocities by the Assad regime against innocent people,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in a September 4 statement. “The international community must vehemently reject Iranian oil and related products in the same way that it rejects the violent acts of terrorism these networks fund.”