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Russia, Iran Face Backlash Over Oil Shipments To Syria

The U.S. Treasury Department has targeted six individuals and three entities that it says are part of an Iranian-Russian network providing millions of barrels of oil to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and funding the militant groups Hamas and Hizballah.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said on November 20 that Russia facilitated the delivery of Iranian oil to Syria, and that a variety of mechanisms were used in an attempt to conceal the shipments and payments.

"Today we are acting against a complex scheme Iran and Russia have used to bolster the Assad regime and generate funds for Iranian malign activity," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the lower house of Russia's parliament, the State Duma, called the latest U.S. sanctions "absolutely illegal and unlawful."

Russia and Iran have given Assad crucial support throughout the war in Syria, which began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011. The conflict has left more than 400,000 people dead, displaced millions, and devastated many historical sites across the country.

Those added to the U.S. list of sanctioned entities and persons include Syrian national Mohammad Amer Alchwiki and his Russia-based company, Global Vision Group, Russia's state-owned company Promsyrioimport, and its deputy director, Andrei Dogayev, who is a Russian citizen, the Treasury said.

The other targets are Iran's Tadbir Kish Medical and Pharmaceutical Company, Iranian nationals Rasoul Sajjad and Hossein Yaghoubi Miab, Syrian national Hajji Abd al-Nasir, and Lebanon national Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal.

The move blocks any of their assets under U.S. jurisdiction and warns non-U.S. institutions against conducting transactions with them.

By RFE/RL

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  • EHLipton on November 24 2018 said:
    Oooooh! Wonder if the big ole wolf will at least give this same kids glove approach and time in research & investigation as they are giving to the Russia Trump or Hillary Benghazi allegations! Or will alleged allegations of King USA's possible ignored COMMANDMENTS be enough to go blow up those,,,, OTHER KINDS, not like us, people's AND oil producing Fields?
  • Mamdouh G Salameh on November 24 2018 said:
    Russia and Iran are right to ignore US sanctions and provide oil shipments to Syria. Were the United States to end its illegal occupation of large swaths of north-eastern Syria which contains 95% of all Syrian oil and gas potential, then there would be no need for Russia and Iran to provide Syria with oil.

    The US currently occupies around 30% of Syria’s territory including much of the area east of the Euphrates River, encompassing large swaths of the Deir Ezzor, Al-Hasakah and Raqqa regions. 2,000 to 4,000 US troops are stationed in this area.

    North-eastern Syria is an important region owing to its rich natural resources, particularly natural gas and oil. Indeed, this area contains 95% of all Syria’s oil and gas potential including al-Omar, the country’s largest oilfield. Prior to the war, these resources produced some 387,000 barrels a day (b/d) and 7.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas annually, and were of great economic importance to the Syrian government. However, more significantly, nearly all the existing Syrian oil reserves – estimated at around 2.5 billion barrels are located in the area currently occupied by US troops and its proxies.

    In addition to Syria’s largest oil field, the US and its proxies in northeast Syria mainly Syrian Kurds also control the country’s largest gas plant which can produce nearly 50 million cubic feet of gas per day and which was originally built and run until 2005 by US oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips, after which Bush-era sanctions made it difficult to continue operating in Syria.

    Syria’s Kurds export oil produced in the Syrian oil fields to Iraqi Kurdistan with which they share a border, and it is then refined and sold to Turkey.

    And yet the US unashamedly impose sanctions on countries providing oil to Syria whose oil and gas fields are occupied illegally by the very country imposing the sanctions.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Amvet on November 25 2018 said:
    The sanctions against Syria are endless. Rubbing alcohol imports for hospitals are banned.

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