(Photo credit: Turkic World)
Brian Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, will travel to Turkiye, the UAE, and Oman between 29 January to 3 February and will issue a warning to any business and government entities that help Russia circumvent US and European sanctions.
Entities involved in the business practices will risk losing access to the US market as Washington cracks down on Russian attempts to evade sanctions imposed by the EU and the US in response to the war in Ukraine, according to a report published by Reuters on 28 January.
Nelso will meet with business owners and financial institutions to reaffirm that Washington will continue to vigorously enforce its sanctions, according to a Treasury spokesperson.
The spokesman stated that individuals and institutions operating in permissive jurisdictions “run the risk of potentially losing access to US markets owing to doing business with sanctioned companies or not doing adequate due diligence.”
After a series of warnings from Treasury and Commerce Department officials last year, Washington increased pressure on Ankara to assure compliance with US limitations on Russia, the trip marks the latest travel to Turkiye by a top Treasury official to discuss sanctions.
On 8 December, the US Department of the Treasury issued a new batch of sanctions targeting an influential Turkish businessman affiliated with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his alleged economic ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.
According to the statement, businessman Sitki Ayan and the companies under his control are accused of operating an evasion network that facilitated the sale of US-sanctioned Iranian oil and money laundering for the IRGC and Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
“Ayan entered into commercial contracts for the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian oil to buyers [in China, UAE, and Europe],” added the statement.
Ayan is accused of using his Gibraltar-based ASB group of companies and its associated subsidiary, Baslam Nakliyat Ye Dis Ticaret Ltd, on behalf of Iran to supply buyers, mostly China and Russia, with Iranian oil.