WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Shahid Meisami Group and its director. Shahid Meisami Group is involved in Iran’s chemical weapons research and is subordinate to the Iranian Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, also known as SPND. The United States designated SPND in 2014 in connection with the Iranian regime’s proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) or their means of delivery.
“Iran’s development of weapons of mass destruction is a threat to the security of its neighbors and the world,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to counter any efforts by the Iranian regime to develop chemical weapons that may be used by the regime or its proxy groups to advance their malign agenda.”
Treasury’s action is being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets proliferators of WMD and their supporters. This action supports the United States’ calls on Iran to meet the compliance standards of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Shahid Meisami Group
Shahid Meisami Group is an organization subordinate to SPND and has been responsible for numerous SPND projects, the cost of which totaled in the millions of U.S. dollars. These projects include testing and producing chemical agents and optimizing them for effectiveness and toxicity for use as incapacitation agents. The United States has longstanding concerns that Iran maintains an undeclared chemical weapons program.
Shahid Meisami Group is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, SPND, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.
Mehran Babri is the head of Shahid Meisami Group. Prior to his current position at Shahid Meisami Group, Babri worked at Iran’s Defense Chemical Research Lab.
Mehran Babri is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Shahid Meisami Group, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings 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.
In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action. Furthermore, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions.