Esmail Ghani

Also Known As: 

Ismail Akbar Nezhad
Esmail Qani
Esmail Qaani
اسماعیل قاآنی

Weapon Program: 

  • Military

Related Country: 

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Gambia
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Nigeria
  • Palestine
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Yemen
Esmail Ghani

A senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); since January 2020, commander of the IRGC Quds Force (IRGC-QF), which provides funding, training, weapons, and equipment to militant groups in locations including Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has been responsible for the IRGC-QF's financial disbursements to IRGC-QF agents, Hizballah, and other Iranian-backed militant groups; has reportedly met with officials from Hamas, Hizballah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Lebanon and Syria to plan attacks on Israeli targets; has reportedly held meetings with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq that have staged attacks on U.S. military personnel; has reportedly overseen Iran's policy toward Afghanistan and recruited Afghans to fight on Iran's behalf in Syria; has reportedly overseen joint Iranian-Syrian military exercises in Syria.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, had financial oversight of an IRGC-QF shipment of ammunition, grenades, mortars, and rockets to Gambia via Nigeria in coordination with Behineh TradingAli Akbar TabatabaeiAzim Aghajani, and the Nigerian national Ali Abbas Usman Jega in 2010.

Served as deputy commander of the IRGC-QF from 1997 to 2020; reportedly served as deputy commander of the IRGC Ground Forces in the 1990s; reportedly joined the IRGC in 1980 and served in the Iran-Iraq War.

Determined by the U.S. Department of State in 2024 to meet the criteria for immigration restrictions under Section 221 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act for senior officials of the Government of Iran that are involved in Iran’s illicit nuclear activities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, support for international terrorism, or the commission of serious human rights abuses against Iranian citizens or their family members.

Has used an Iranian passport with the number D9008347 that was issued on July 18, 2010, and expired on July 18, 2015; has also used an Iranian passport with the number D9003033.

Born in Mashhad, Iran, on August 8, 1957.


Added on March 27, 2012, to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), freezing the person's assets under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting transactions with U.S. parties, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism; foreign parties facilitating transactions for the person or otherwise assisting the person are subject to U.S. sanctions; also subject to the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations; foreign financial institutions facilitating transactions for the person may be prohibited from opening or maintaining correspondent or payable-through accounts in the United States.

Sanctioned by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, restricting business and/or financial transactions with the person and/or freezing the person's assets in those countries.

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

Date Entered: 

July 17, 2012

Date Last Modified: 

March 29, 2024