New US, Gulf sanctions target Iran-Taliban ties

The US Treasury and allies in the Gulf took aim at Iran's support for the Taliban on Tuesday (October 23rd) with new sanctions against nine individuals from both countries, AFP reported.

The Riyadh-based Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC) said the sanctions aimed to "expose and disrupt Taliban actors and their Iranian sponsors that seek to undermine the security of the Afghan government".

The list included two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials identified as Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi and Esmail Razavi.

According to a TFTC statement, the two are involved in providing training, financial and logistical support to the Taliban.

According to the statement, Owhadi arranged a deal in 2017 with a top Taliban official in Aghanistan's Herat Province in which the IRGC would provide military and financial support to the Taliban in return for them attacking government forces in Herat.

Razavi provided similar support to other Taliban groups across the Iran-Afghanistan border, the statement said.

Also named were the Taliban's deputy shadow governor for Herat, Abdullah Samad Faroqui; Mohammad Daoud Muzzamil, who holds the same position in Helmand province, Naim Barich, who manages Taliban-Iran relations, and three other senior Taliban officials.

The blacklist also included Abdul Aziz, accused of paying the Taliban for protection for his narcotics trafficking and gemstones businesses.

"Iran's provision of military training, financing, and weapons to the Taliban is yet another example of Tehran's blatant regional meddling and support for terrorism," said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

"The US and our partners will not tolerate the Iranian regime exploiting Afghanistan to further their destabilising behaviour," he said in the statement.

The sanctions were announced during a TFTC meeting in Riyadh. Some of those mentioned were already on US and UN sanctions lists.

TFTC was launched in May 2017 and includes the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

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