The complicated arrangement, described by the U.S. Treasury in a statement on Tuesday, involved a Syrian citizen allegedly using his Russia-based company to ship Iranian oil to Syria with the aid of a Russian state-owned company.
Syria then helped transfer hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to Hezbollah, which functions as a political party that is part of the Lebanese government and as a militia, as well as to Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules the Gaza Strip.
The U.S. Treasury Department alleged that since 2014, vessels carrying Iranian oil have switched off transponders to conceal deliveries to Syria.
The Treasury, the State Department and the U.S. Coast Guard have issued an advisory to the maritime community about the sanctions risks of shipping oil to Syria’s government.
“The political defeat in Syria apparently prompts the United States to return to the idea of regime change in Damascus. Therefore, economic pressure through oil supply shutdown becomes a tool of the new economic war with (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad and indirectly with Moscow and Iran,” he said.
Read more: Reuters