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US sanctions Iranian ambassador to Iraq

The US imposed sanctions Thursday on Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, the Treasury Department said in a statement.  

"Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating Iraj Masjedi, a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq, for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF. A close adviser to former IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani, Masjedi played a formative role in the IRGC-QF’s Iraq policy," it said.

The department accused Masjedi of exploiting his position as Iranian envoy to "obfuscate financial transfers conducted for the benefit of the IRGC-QF."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Iran is appointing IRGC-QF officials to "carry out their destabilizing foreign agenda.”

"The United States will continue to employ the tools and authorities at its disposal to target the Iranian regime and IRGC-QF officials that attempt to meddle in the affairs of sovereign nations, including any attempts to influence US elections," Mnuchin added.

Separately, the Treasury Department blacklisted five Iranian entities for attempting to influence the Nov. 3 presidential elections in the US, a day after senior intelligence officials claimed that Russia and Iran were making similar efforts.

They include the IRGC, the IRGC-QF and the Bayan Rasaneh Gostar Institute (Bayan Gostar) "for having directly or indirectly" engaged in interference, and the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) and International Union of Virtual Media (IUVM) for being owned or controlled by the IRGC-QF.

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