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OFAC designates 2 people under Iran Human Rights regime

Today, OFAC added the following persons:

BASERI, Mohammad (a.k.a. “SANAI”), Iran; DOB 19 Sep 1972; POB Semnan, Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-HR] (Linked To: IRANIAN MINISTRY OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY). 
 
KHAZAI, Ahmad (a.k.a. KAZA’I, Ahmad), Iran; DOB 30 Mar 1960; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male; Passport D9014415 (Iran) (individual) [IRAN-HR] (Linked To: IRANIAN MINISTRY OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY). 

under the Iran Human Rights (IRAN-HR) sanctions program.

And the State Department issued the following press release:

For 13 years, the Iranian regime has denied knowledge of Robert A. “Bob” Levinson’s whereabouts or condition. However, senior Iranian officials authorized Levinson’s abduction and detention and launched a disinformation campaign to deflect blame from the regime.

Today, the United States is designating two senior officials of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), who were involved in the abduction of Mr. Levinson on Iran’s Kish Island on or about March 9, 2007. Mohammad Baseri and Ahmad Khazai, acting in their capacity as MOIS officers, were involved in the abduction, detention, and probable death of Mr. Levinson. They are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13553 for acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s MOIS. The MOIS was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13553 for being complicit in the commission of serious human rights abuses against Iranians protesting fraudulent elections held on June 12, 2009.

The Iranian regime has a 41-year history of abducting and detaining foreigners and dual-nationals as political leverage. We reiterate our strong warning to U.S. citizens and dual-nationals that traveling to Iran may jeopardize their personal safety. The abduction, detention, and probable death of Mr. Levinson is another egregious example of the regime’s callous disregard toward human life.

The United States will always prioritize the safety and security of the American people and will continue to aggressively pursue those who played a role in Mr. Levinson’s disappearance. We call on the Iranian regime to provide a full accounting of Mr. Levinson’s fate, and we will not rest until all Americans wrongfully detained by Iran are back home. We hope today brings the Levinson family some of the answers and justice they deserve.

as did the Treasury Department:

PRESS RELEASES

Treasury Sanctions Senior Iranian Intelligence Officers Involved in the Abduction and Detention of Robert Levinson

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated two senior officials of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), who were involved in the abduction of Robert A. “Bob” Levinson on Iran’s Kish Island on or about March 9, 2007. For 13 years, the Iranian government, which continues to take foreigners and dual-nationals hostage as political leverage, has denied knowledge of Mr. Levinson’s whereabouts or condition. However, senior Iranian officials authorized Levinson’s abduction and detention and launched a disinformation campaign to deflect blame from the Iranian regime. The individuals designated today, Mohammad Baseri and Ahmad Khazai, acted in their capacity as MOIS officers in the abduction, detention, and probable death of Mr. Levinson.

“The abduction of Mr. Levinson in Iran is an outrageous example of the Iranian regime’s willingness to commit unjust acts,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will always prioritize the safety and security of the American people and will continue to aggressively pursue those who played a role in Mr. Levinson’s detention and probable death.”

“The government of Iran pledged to provide assistance in bringing Bob Levinson home, but it has never followed through. The truth is that Iranian intelligence officers —with the approval of senior Iranian officials — were involved in Bob’s abduction and detention,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “While no one should be as cruelly treated as Bob was, this situation is personal because Bob served as a special agent for 22 years and will always be a part of the FBI family. We will never waver from our commitment to find out more about Bob’s long captivity, to give the Levinson family the answers they deserve, and to finally bring Bob home.”

The MOIS has been designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13553 for being complicit in the commission of serious human rights abuses against the Iranian people since June 12, 2009, as well as previously designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to E.O. 13224.

Mohammad Baseri and Ahmad Khazai

Mohammad Baseri is a high-ranking MOIS officer involved in counterespionage activities in and outside of Iran, who has been involved in sensitive investigations related to Iranian national security issues. Baseri has worked directly with intelligence officials from other countries in order to harm U.S. interests. Ahmad Khazai is a high-ranking member of the MOIS who, in his role as a senior official of the MOIS, has led MOIS delegations to other countries to assess the security situation.

Mohammad Baseri and Ahmad Khazai, acting in their capacity as MOIS officers, were involved in the abduction, detention, and probable death of Mr. Levinson.

OFAC is designating Baseri and Khazai pursuant to E.O. 13553 for acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s MOIS.

Sanctions Implications

All property and interests in property of these persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

In addition, non-U.S. persons that engage in certain transactions with the persons designated today may themselves be exposed to designation. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly conducts or facilitates a significant transaction for or on behalf of the persons designated today could be subject to U.S. correspondent or payable-through account sanctions.

Links:

OFAC Notice

State Department Press Release

Treasury Department Press Release

Categories: Human Rights Sanctions Iranian Sanctions OFAC Updates Sanctions Lists

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