US creates unit to combat Iran’s terror funding

Sigal P. Mandelker

Saudi Gazette report

Washington —
US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal P. Mandelker has announced the creation of a unit to combat Iran’s funding of terrorism.

She told the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services on Tuesday that the unit is called the Iran Finance Fusion Cell, which “is an intra-TFI and interagency group that is building out our knowledge of Iran’s malign activities and considering new ways to take action against Iran and Iranian-backed illicit actors”.

Mandelker said the US continues “to maximize economic pressure on the regime to combat its weapons proliferation, terrorism, and regionally destabilizing activities”.

She detailed US actions since the reimposition of full US sanctions on Iran in November 2018. She said that currently 927 entities, individuals, vessels and aircraft are on US sanctions list.

Mandelker in her testimony mentioned Iran’s reluctance to adopt the internationally required financial safeguards, telling the subcommittee, “We have engaged extensively with European countries on the significant risks of launching a special purpose vehicle for a country that has repeatedly failed to adopt international AML/CFT safeguards.”

But Washington’s European allies have adopted a different approach, while trying not to directly breach US sanctions.