The State Department is offering $15 million for information relating to the financial activities, networks, and associates of a high-ranking Iranian operative.
According to U.S. Special Representative on Iran Brian Hook, Abdul Reza Shahlai, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officer with Quds Force, has been behind attacks targeting American soldiers and civilians.
In 2007, Shahlai planned an attack that resulted in the death of five and the injury of three American Soldiers. Moreover, the Iranian officer has a “long history of attacks against Americans and our allies globally. He planned multiple assassinations of coalition forces in Iraq [during the insurgency, and] provided weapons and explosives to violent Shia extremist groups.”
This isn’t the first time the Iranian officer is being targeted by the U.S. In 2011, the U.S. Treasury included Shahlai in a sanctions package aimed at Iranian officials involved in the plot to murder the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
The State Department believes that Shahlai was also behind a plot that would have resulted in the deaths of approximately 200 American civilians — the plot was thwarted by the U.S. intelligence community.
Shahlai is currently believed to be in Yemen, supporting the Houthi rebel forces as they attempt to prevail in a bloody civil war that has been going on since 2015.
The $15 million bounty is part of the Rewards for Justice program.
Iran continues to pose a significant threat to regional security. In the last days of November, the Navy interdicted a small boat carrying weapons and missile parts that was heading toward Yemen. Upon further examination, it was discovered that the deadly cargo was of Iranian origin.
“We interdicted a significant hoard of weapons and missile parts evidently of Iranian origin. The seizure includes sophisticated weapons. The weapon components comprise the most sophisticated weapons seized by the U.S. Navy to date during the Yemen conflict,” added Hook.
Iran is going through a period of intense domestic turmoil. More than 1,000 Iranians protesters have been killed by the regime.
“As the truth is trickling out of Iran, it appears the regime could have murdered over a thousand Iranian citizens since the protests began,” added Hook. The State Department official added that although numbers aren’t completely accurate — the Iranian regime tightly controls the flow of information — thousands more Iranians have been wounded in the protests and at least 8,000 have been imprisoned.
The Quds Force has been serving as Iran’s clandestine long arm, conducting paramilitary activities in and outside the region with the aim of cementing Iranian preponderance.