Treasury Sanctions Iranian Entities for Attempted Election Interference
On October 22, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) determined to impose sanctions on five distinct Iranian entities known to have attempted to conduct election interference on the US and its voters. These attempts include spreading disinformation and executing malign influence campaigns aimed to mislead US voters and misconstrue the public option. According to a statement released by the OFAC, components of the Government of Iran have disguised themselves as news organizations and media outlets, but instead have been focusing all efforts on undermining the US democratic processes.
The groups that will be sanctioned for directly or indirectly engaging in foreign interference in the 2020 election include the Islamic Revolutionary Gaurd Corps (IRGC), the IRGC Qods Force, and the Bayan Ransaneh Gostar Institute, as well as the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union and the International Union of Virtual Media. The former two groups have now been designated under multiple organizations and authorities since 2007. The widespread disinformation campaign operated through a variety of covert media organizations to persuade US voters of its legitimacy. According to officials, the campaigns aimed to sow discord among Americans rather than support the election of one candidate.