U.S. Blacklists Three Georgia-Registered Companies over Iran Links

The U.S. Department of Commerce has entered thirty-seven entities under forty entries with three registered in Georgia to its list of entities acting contrary to the foreign policy or national security interests of the United States.

According to December 16 document, Gensis Engineering, ROV Solutions and SAEROS Safety ERO are the three companies added to the U.S. trade restriction list.

The Commerce document notes that these companies have supplied or attempted to supply U.S.-origin items that would “ultimately provide material support to Iran’s defense industries, in violation of U.S. export controls.”

According to the latest records from the Public Registry of Georgia, ROV Solutions was registered on August 6, 2012 and its 100% share is owned by Levan Kotiashvili, while Irakli Kotiashvili serves as firm director. According to the DJVU files available at Public Registry, the company is involved in import and export activities.

The company SAEROS Safety ERO was registered on November 25, 2013 and according to the latest records, its 100% share is owned by Nino Julakidze and again Iraki Kotiashvili serves as the director. According to the same records, the company is involved in “all activities not banned by law.”

According to Georgia’s Public Registry, both companies – ROV Solutions and SAEROS Safety ERO are registered at the same address in the capital (2 Platon Ioseliani Str., Tbilisi, Georgia), while the U.S. document indicates another address (12a Tashkent Str., Tbilisi).

The Commerce names Ioseliani Street in Tbilisi as the place of registration of Gensis Engineering, while the latter cannot be searched in the Georgian Public Registry, perhaps meaning that the firm is not registered with the same name as indicated in the U.S. document.

According to the same document, ROV Solutions has an alternate address in Hong Kong region of China, while Gensis Engineering has the alternate address in Istanbul, Turkey. The Commerce listed these two companies under China and Turkey, respectively, as well as in the Georgia section.

Giorgi Noniashvili of the European Georgia party said that the owners of the three companies are members of the same family. He said no additional information can be searched about them which “raises questions”.

“It is important to clarify who stands behind these companies that were supplying American items to the Iranian Defense Forces,” Noniashvili added.

The Georgian government has yet to comment on the issue.

Other companies added to the U.S. Entity List are located in China (34), Turkey (2) and Malaysia (1).

VoA Report on the company owner’s link with STC Delta 

The Georgian-language service of Washington-based Voice of America reported on December 17 that owners of ROV Solutions SAEROS Safety ERO, Nino Julakidze and Levan Kotiashvili, respectively, are married. The director of both companies is their son, meanwhile. According to the report, Gensis Engineering is based in Istanbul, but is also linked with the Kotiashvili family.

According to the report, Kotiashvili is also a leading specialist of the Georgian state-owned State Military Scientific-Technical Center Delta, operating under the Defense Ministry. 

In comments to the VoA, Kotiashvili confirmed that his business partner in the three companies was an Iranian citizen, but claimed he had only done one job with the person – importing computer accessories in 2013 in Georgia.

He denied that the Iranian partner’s interest in working with him could be related to his work at the STC Delta, arguing they partnered up before he had begun working at the state-owned company. 

Kotiashvili denied supplying Iranian defense industries in violation of U.S. export controls, but said his Iranian partner “could have possibly done something with these companies without me.” 

Delta is a Georgian state arms manufacturer, that produces among others armored vehicles and weaponry.

This article was last updated on December 21.

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