US targets network backing Iran's use of child soldiers

October 16, 2018 - 10:07 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department is targeting a network of businesses that provides financial support to a paramilitary force in Iran, which allegedly trains and deploys child soldiers to fight with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The sanctions are part of the U.S. economic campaign against Iran to pressure it from engaging in aggression in the region and violating human rights.

The network of at least 20 corporations and financial institutions is known as Basij (bah-SEEJ') Cooperative Foundation. It uses shell companies to mask its control over multibillion-dollar business interests in Iran's automotive, mining, metals and banking industries.

Treasury also is sanctioning several banks and others affiliated with the network.

The sanctions prohibit Americans from doing business with the network or its affiliates and freeze assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction.

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