National Security

Treasury Department Sanctions Taliban Members, Their Iranian Sponsors

Treasury identified targeted individuals in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, Gulf partners

Steven Mnuchin / Getty Images

The Treasury Department on Tuesday announced steps taken in cooperation with the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) to "expose and disrupt Taliban actors and their Iranian sponsors that seek to undermine the security of the Afghan Government."

The Treasury Department announced sanctions against nine individuals who were identified as Taliban actors by the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the TFTC.

"The TFTC has again demonstrated its tremendous value to international security by disrupting and exposing key Taliban members who are involved in suicide attacks, and other lethal activities.  We are also targeting key Iranian sponsors providing financial and material support to the Taliban," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a statement.

The TFTC was created as a partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia in 2017. In addition to the center's two co-chair nations, five other Persian Gulf nations are named as "participants": Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and The United Arab Emirates.

"Iran’s provision of military training, financing, and weapons to the Taliban is yet another example of Tehran’s blatant regional meddling and support for terrorism," the statement continued. "The United States and our partners will not tolerate the Iranian regime exploiting Afghanistan to further their destabilizing behavior.  Iran’s support to the Taliban stands in stark violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions and epitomizes the regime’s utter disregard for fundamental international norms."

The OFAC and TFTC designated Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi (also known as Jalal Vahedi), Esma’il Razavi, Abdullah Samad Faroqui, Mohammad Daoud Muzzamil, Abdul Rahim Manan, Abdul Aziz (also known as Aziz Shah Zamani), Sadr Ibrahim, and Hafiz Majid as providing support to terrorism. They also designated Naim Barich the coordinator of the Taliban's relationship with Iran.

The designations were made possible by Executive Order 13224, signed on Sept. 23, 2001 by President George W. Bush, to be "a powerful tool to impede terrorist funding and is part of our national commitment to lead the international effort to bring a halt to the evil of terrorist activity."

Mnuchin cancelled his trip to a Saudi investment conference after the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, but he chose to continue his visit to meet with TFTC partners in Riyadh this week.

Mnuchin met with the Saudi Crown Prince to discuss "combatting terrorist financing, implementing Iran sanctions, Saudi economic issues and the Khashoggi investigation," according to the spokesperson for the Treasury Department.