U.S. offers $15 million for information on Iran’s terror network

The Trump administration is offering up to $15 million for information that helps disrupt Iran’s sources of funding for terrorism.

Specifically, the reward from the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program is for details connected to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of the Islamic regime in Iran that the U.S. designated a terrorist organization in April.

“We have taken this step because the IRGC operates more like a terrorist organization than it does a government,” U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters September 4. He said this is the first time the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program has targeted an entity of a foreign government.

Primarily through its Quds Force, the IRGC carries out and directs Tehran’s dangerous and destabilizing global terrorist campaigns.

Started in 1984, Rewards for Justice has paid out more than $150 million to more than 100 people who have provided information that led to terrorist prosecutions or prevented attacks.

The U.S. is seeking information on people or businesses that help the IRGC evade sanctions, including a vast IRGC network that in recent months has provided upward of a billion dollars’ worth of crude oil and other fuel to support Syria’s Bashar Assad, Hizballah and other malign actors.

“Iran wants these groups to extend the borders of the regime’s revolution and sow chaos and sectarian violence,” Hook said.

Two men holding guns walking on ship deck (© Morteza Akhoondi/Mehr News Agency /AP Images)
Members of Iran’s IRGC inspect the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which the regime seized in July. (© Morteza Akhoondi/Mehr News Agency /AP Images)

U.S. officials also announced sanctions against the shipping network, targeting 16 entities, 10 individuals and 11 vessels. They warned the international shipping community that the IRGC often disguises its shipments. The deceptive tactics include falsifying documents and shutting off ships’ transponders in violation of international law.

“Iran’s exportation of oil directly funds acts of terrorism by Iranian proxies and atrocities by the Assad regime against innocent people,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in a September 4 statement. “The international community must vehemently reject Iranian oil and related products in the same way that it rejects the violent acts of terrorism these networks fund.”