Regulatory intelligence for US exporters

OFAC Sanctions Iraqi Airline, Issues General License

The Office of Foreign Assets Control this week sanctioned an Iraqi airline, its CEO and others with ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. The agency said they have helped to deliver shipments to the IRGC-QF or have helped launder money and support Kata’ib Hizballah, an IRGC-QF militia in Iraq.

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The designations target the airline Fly Baghdad, CEO Basheer Abdulkadhim Alwan al-Shabbani and two aircraft with tail numbers YI-BAF and YI-BAN. OFAC said Kata’ib Hizballah uses the airline to move fighters, weapons and money to Syria and Lebanon to “prop up the Syrian regime.”

OFAC also sanctioned Hossein Moanes al-'Ibudi for being a senior member of Kata’ib Hizballah and for working to kidnap and kill Iraqis working with the U.S. The agency also designated Riyadh Ali Hussein al-Azzawi, an unmanned drone specialist who has worked on Iranian missiles, and Awqad Muhsin Faraj al-Hamidawi, a brother of U.S.-designated Kata’ib Hizballah official who helps to oversee the group’s finances. The group is using Baghdad-based Al-Massal Land Travel and Tourism Co. to “generate revenue and launder money,” OFAC said.

Along with the sanctions, the agency issued a new general license to authorize certain transactions with Fly Baghdad. General License No. 27 authorizes certain wind-down transactions related to “civil aviation safety” through 12:01 EDT March 22. A new frequently asked question provides guidance on the scope of the license, including how the agency defines necessary “civil aviation purposes.”