The Iranian oil ministry denied statements made by the U.S. Treasury Department that there were military links to its energy sector.
The U.S. Treasury Department informed Congress there were ties between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the National Iranian Oil Co.
The Treasury Department, in a statement this week, described the IRGC as the most powerful economic actor in the country with a history of establishing front companies to circumvent sanctions.
Recently, the IRGC has been coordinating a campaign to sell Iranian oil in an effort to evade international sanctions, specifically those imposed by the European Union that prohibit the import, shipping, and purchase of Iranian oil, which went into full effect on July 1, the department said.
Alireza Nikzad Rahbar, a spokesman for the Iranian Oil Ministry, told the semiofficial Mehr News Agency the statements were baseless.
We strongly deny these false allegations, he was quoted as saying.
The Treasury Department noted Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi served as a brigadier general in the IRGC before taking over the ministry. Mehr clarified that Qasemi served in the engineering and construction division of the IRGC but no longer had ties to the entity.