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United States Imposes Sanctions on Iranian Military Procurement Network

United States Imposes Sanctions on Iranian Military Procurement Network

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The United States remains firmly committed to taking action to disrupt Iran’s military programs and its procurement networks. We are designating elements of Iran’s military procurement network — one individual and six entities. These elements based in Iran, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Malaysia have supported procurement activities of the U.S.-sanctioned Iranian company Pardazan System Namad Arman (PASNA), which is linked to Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics. This network has enabled PASNA to procure electronic components, including components for use in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), from foreign suppliers primarily based in the PRC. Iran’s proliferation of weapons destabilizes the Middle East and beyond, and we will continue to work with allies and partners to counter such activity.

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one individual and six entities in a sanctions evasion network that has facilitated Iran’s procurement of electronic components for its destabilizing military programs, including those used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Particularly, this action targets the head of U.S.-designated Iran’s Pardazan System Namad Arman (PASNA), and the entity’s Iran-, Malaysia-, Hong Kong-, and PRC-based front companies and suppliers that have enabled PASNA’s procurement of goods and technology. This action also updates the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) entry for PASNA to include an alias and the names of two fictitious companies used by PASNA in its procurement efforts.

Iran’s proliferation of UAVs and other weapons continues to destabilize the Middle East region and beyond. Since September 2022, OFAC has issued several rounds of designations targeting Iran’s UAV and missile programs, to include elements involved in production, procurement, and proliferation.

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“The network sanctioned today has procured goods and technology for the Iranian government and its defense industry and UAV program,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Treasury will continue to enforce its sanctions against Iran’s military procurement efforts that contribute to regional insecurity and global instability.”

On January 12, 2018, OFAC designated PASNA pursuant to E.O. 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Iran Electronics Industries (IEI), which is subordinate to Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).

 PASNA’S IRAN-BASED PROCUREMENT NETWORK

Iranian national Mehdi Khoshghadam is the managing director of PASNA and is responsible for the company’s sanctions evasion efforts. Using numerous front companies, Khoshghadam has sought a variety of electronic components from foreign suppliers primarily based in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Khoshghadam is designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, PASNA, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

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PASNA uses a mix of front companies and aliases when conducting business with foreign suppliers. The front companies include Amv AJ Nilgoun Bushehr CO. (AMV AJ) and PASNA International SDN. BHD. (PASNA International).

AMV AJ is an Iran-based front company for PASNA. Khoshghadam has used AMV AJ to procure electronic goods for PASNA, including electrical components and connectors.

PASNA International is a Malaysia-based PASNA front company that has procured goods for PASNA, including encoder boards, copiers, transmitters, remote controls, optical components, and various crystals.

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AMV AJ, and PASNA International are designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, PASNA, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

OFAC is updating PASNA’s SDN List entry to include its alias, Faraz Tejarat Ertebat Company. In addition, OFAC is exposing PASNA and Khoshghadam’s use of two fictional companies in their sanctions evasion efforts by adding the names as aliases on PASNA’s SDN List entry. These names are Sino Trader Co. and Pouyan Electronic Co.

PASNA’S SUPPLIERS

Arttronix International (HK) Limited (Arttronix) is a Hong Kong-based company that has supplied electronic components to PASNA through Khoshghadam. Arttronix uses its alias, Aderal Industrial (HK) Ltd., to conduct business. Arttronix has supplied a number of different electronic goods to PASNA.

Jotrin Electronics Limited (Jotrin) is a PRC-based PASNA supplier. Jotrin has supplied PASNA components through Khoshghadam and PASNA’s front company AMV AJ, including microelectromechanical systems and accelerometers.

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Vohom Technology (HK) CO., Limited (Vohom) is a PRC-based PASNA supplier. Vohom has supplied electronic goods to PASNA through Khoshghadam.

Yinke (HK) Electronics Company Limited (Yinke) is also a PRC-based PASNA supplier. On multiple occasions, Yinke has supplied PASNA, through Khoshghadam, foreign manufactured electronic components.

Arttronix, Jotrin, Vohom, and Yinke are designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, PASNA, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

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SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individual and entities mentioned above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. All transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons are prohibited.

In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals or entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for any of the individuals or entities designated today pursuant to E.O. 13382 could be subject to U.S. sanctions.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s FAQ 897.

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FAA Bill: A High-stakes Showdown on Capitol Hill

FAA Bill: A High-stakes Showdown on Capitol Hill

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In the halls of Capitol Hill, a high-stakes legislative drama is unfolding as lawmakers scramble to pass a critical Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill before the looming deadline of May 10. This bill, which guides aviation policy for the next five years, is a hefty over 1,000-page document that has sparked intense debate and negotiation among senators.

At the heart of the debate are several contentious issues. One of the most disputed points is whether to increase the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots from 65 to 67, a provision that was dropped from the compromise legislation. Senators have proposed amendments to reinstate this age increase, a move that has further complicated the bill’s passage.

Another contentious issue is the proposal to increase flights at Reagan National Airport, a plan that has been met with resistance from lawmakers concerned about safety and congestion. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has been particularly vocal in opposing this plan, citing recent near misses on the airport’s runways as evidence of the potential risks.

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Amidst the political wrangling, there are also provisions aimed at improving air travel for consumers. These include efforts to enhance safety, address the shortage of air traffic controllers, and implement new technologies to reduce the training backlog. The bill also seeks to improve the travel experience for consumers by requiring airlines to provide refunds for significantly delayed flights and disclose “critical ancillary fees” before booking.

Despite these wide-ranging provisions, the FAA bill has become a political football in the Senate. With the clock ticking down to the May 10 deadline, senators are under pressure to find common ground on the many amendments proposed. The bill’s negotiators have already made concessions, such as adding an automatic refund component to the bill after an outcry from both sides of the aisle.

As the deadline approaches, all eyes are on the Senate to see if they can overcome these last-minute hurdles and pass the FAA reauthorization bill in time. The stakes are high, with the bill’s passage critical for the future of aviation policy in the United States.

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Mizzou Golfer Jack Lundin Selected for Team USA at the 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup

Mizzou Golfer Jack Lundin Selected for Team USA at the 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup

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University of Missouri and the world of collegiate golf, Mizzou men’s golfer Jack Lundin has been named to Team USA for the prestigious 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup. This selection places Lundin among the top collegiate golfers in the United States, preparing to compete in a Ryder Cup-style tournament against an international team of the world’s best young golfers.

The Arnold Palmer Cup is set to take place from July 5-7, 2024, at Lahinch Golf Club in Lahinch, Ireland. The tournament will feature 48 of the most talented collegiate golfers, with 24 men and 24 women representing both the United States and the International team. This unique event offers an exceptional opportunity for these young athletes to showcase their skills on a global stage, with the honor of representing their countries and universities.

Jack Lundin, a senior at the University of Missouri, has enjoyed a stellar season leading up to his selection for Team USA. He has finished in the top five in 7 of his last 10 tournaments, including each of the last five. This remarkable performance has solidified Lundin’s reputation as one of the top collegiate golfers in the nation, making him a natural choice for the U.S. team.

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The Arnold Palmer Cup, co-founded by Arnold Palmer and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), has been a prominent event in the golf world since its inception in 1997. Over the years, the tournament has been held at some of the world’s most renowned courses, including The Old Course at St. Andrews and Royal Portrush.

Past participants in the Arnold Palmer Cup have gone on to achieve significant success in the professional golf world, with more than 245 former players earning cards on the PGA, DP World, or LPGA Tours. Among these distinguished alumni are major champions Jon Rahm, Lilia Vu, Wyndham Clark, Allisen Corpuz, and Brian Harman, as well as 2023 FedEx Cup champion Viktor Hovland.

As Jack Lundin prepares to represent the University of Missouri and Team USA at the 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup, the Mizzou community and fans of collegiate golf eagerly await the opportunity to witness his talent and sportsmanship on display at Lahinch Golf Club. With the eyes of the golf world upon him, Lundin’s performance in Ireland will undoubtedly be a highlight of his burgeoning career and a testament to the University of Missouri’s commitment to fostering excellence in collegiate golf.

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Director Chris Wray said the Chinese will have the “ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure at a time of its choosing

Director Chris Wray said the Chinese will have the “ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure at a time of its choosing

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The FBI says Chinese hackers are preparing to launch an attack on U.S. infrastructure. FBI Director Chris Wray said the Chinese will have the “ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure at a time of its choosing.” He stated that the Chinese have the capability to cause physical chaos to critical infrastructure at a time of their preference. Wray mentioned that the Chinese have infiltrated numerous companies in the energy, telecommunications, and water sectors, and have targeted 23 pipeline operators. He stressed that the People’s Republic of China considers all essential sectors for societal functioning as fair targets in their quest for global dominance, aiming to create panic and undermine American resolve through attacks on civilian infrastructure.

In a stark warning issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), it has been revealed that Chinese hackers are on the brink of launching a potentially devastating cyber attack on critical US infrastructure. The alert comes amidst heightened tensions between the two superpowers, with both nations engaging in a complex game of geopolitical chess that has now extended into the digital realm.

FBI Director Christopher Wray made the chilling announcement during a press conference, stating that Chinese government-linked hackers have already infiltrated the nation’s critical infrastructure and are waiting for “just the right moment to deal a devastating blow.” The revelation has sent shockwaves through the cybersecurity community and prompted calls for immediate action to bolster the nation’s digital defenses.

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The FBI’s warning is supported by a series of reports and investigations that have uncovered a concerted effort by Chinese hackers to target key sectors of the US economy, including energy, transportation, and telecommunications. These revelations have underscored the growing sophistication of Chinese cyber espionage and the significant threat it poses to US national security.

In response to the looming threat, the FBI and other US government agencies have urged the private sector to take immediate steps to strengthen their cyber defenses and protect against potential attacks. These measures include implementing robust cybersecurity protocols, regularly updating software and systems, and training employees to identify and respond to potential threats.

Despite these efforts, experts warn that the US remains highly vulnerable to cyber attacks, particularly from well-resourced nation-state actors like China. As such, the FBI’s warning serves as a stark reminder of the need for continued vigilance and investment in cybersecurity measures to safeguard the nation’s critical infrastructure and protect against potentially devastating attacks.

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