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US hits Iranian general with drug sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is slapping sanctions on an Iranian general suspected of allowing Afghan drug traffickers to smuggle opium through Iran to benefit the Taliban.

The Treasury Department announced on Wednesday that it had added Gholamreza Baghbani, a general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, to its list of specially designated narcotics traffickers. He is the first Iranian official to be hit with the so-called “kingpin” designation, which freezes any assets he may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bars Americans from doing business with him.

Baghbani is the chief of an IRGC Quds Force office in southeast Iran near the Afghan border. Treasury said he has allowed smugglers to operate on his territory and used them to move weapons to the Taliban.

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