Iranian Sanctions

On Wednesday, Swiss authorities updated the following Iran sanctions listing:

SSID: 80-9681 Foreign identifier: 110. Name: Mehr Bank

Good quality a.k.a.: a) Mehr Finance and Credit Institute b) Mehr Interest-Free Bank Address: 204 Taleghani Ave.,No. 182, Shahid Tohidi St, 4th Golsetan, Pasdaran Ave, Tehran, 1666943, Iran

Justification: Mehr Bank is controlled by Bonyas Taavon Sepah and the IRGC. Mehr Bank provides financial services to the IRGC. According to an open source interview with the head of Bonyad Taavon Sepah, Parviz Fattah (born 1961), Bonyad Taavon Sepah created Mehr Bank to serve the Basij (paramilitary arm of the IRGC). Relation: a) Controlled by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) (104., SSID 80-9645) b) Controlled by Bonyad Taavon Sepah (106., SSID 80-9660) Modifications: Amended on 3 Dec 2019

Links:

FINMA Notice

Data files of updates – PDF, XML

Last Wednesday, OFAC updated Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) #303:

303. Which insurance, reinsurance, or underwriting activities are potentially subject to sanctions under IFCA’s section 1246(a)(1)? 

A number of insurance activities are subject to sanctions under IFCA, including knowingly providing insurance, reinsurance, or underwriting services to or for Iranian persons on the SDN List to or for any person designated in connection with Iran’s support for international terrorism or WMD proliferation, or for activities with respect to Iran for which sanctions have been imposed (e.g., knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of petroleum or petroleum products from Iran). However, the provision of insurance, reinsurance, or underwriting services to non-Iranian persons on the SDN List is generally not sanctionable under section 1246(a)(1) of IFCA if the provision of insurance, reinsurance or underwriting services is not to or for an Iranian person on the SDN List, to or for any person designated in connection with Iran’s support for international terrorism or WMD proliferation, or for any activity with respect to Iran for which sanctions have been imposed. [11-27-2019]

and FAQ 804:

804. Do sanctions on COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. apply to their corporate parent and affiliates?

COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. were determined by the Secretary of State on September 25, 2019, to meet the criteria for the imposition of sanctions under Executive Order (E.O.) 13846, and the Secretary of State imposed certain sanctions, including blocking, on these entities. The blocking sanctions apply only to these listed entities and any entities in which they own, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest. Sanctions do not apply to these entities’ ultimate parent, COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd. (COSCO). Similarly, sanctions do not apply to COSCO’s other subsidiaries or affiliates (e.g., COSCO Shipping Holdings), provided that such entities are not owned 50 percent or more in the aggregate by one or more blocked persons. U.S. persons, therefore, are not prohibited from dealing with COSCO, its non-blocked subsidiaries, or non-blocked affiliates to the extent the proposed dealings do not involve any blocked person, or any other activities prohibited pursuant to any OFAC sanctions authorities.

In addition, on October 24, 2019, OFAC issued General License K that authorizes through its expiration date all transactions and activities prohibited pursuant to section 5 of E.O. 13846 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the maintenance or wind down of transactions involving COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., subject to certain conditions specified in the license and described in FAQ 806. 

With respect to transactions involving non U.S. persons outside of U.S. jurisdiction, please see FAQ 805. [11-27-2019]

and added three new ones:

805. Are non-U.S. persons exposed to sanctions for providing goods or services to, or engaging in other transactions with, a non-Iranian person sanctioned under section 3 of E.O. 13846?

No, non-U.S. persons are generally not exposed to sanctions for providing goods or services to, or engaging in other transactions with, a non-Iranian person sanctioned under section 3 of E.O. 13846. 

However, please note that non-U.S. persons should ensure that the provision of goods or services to, or other transactions with such non-Iranian persons do not involve: (1) prohibited transactions by U.S. persons (including U.S. financial institutions) or U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign entities, unless the transaction is exempt from regulation, or authorized by OFAC; (2) the knowing provision of significant support to an Iranian person on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List); or (3) the knowing facilitation of a significant transaction for a person on the SDN List that has been designated in connection with Iran’s support for international terrorism or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including designated Iranian financial institutions or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), or other activity for which sanctions have been imposed with respect to Iran (e.g., knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the purchase of petroleum from Iran). 

For information about persons sanctioned by State Department pursuant to Section 3 of E.O. 13846, please see the relevant State press statement or Federal Register Notice. [11-27-2019] 


806. What types of activities are considered “maintenance” as the term is used in General License K?

As a general matter, the authorization for “maintenance” in General License K includes all transactions ordinarily incident to the continuity of operations by U.S. persons involving COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., Ltd. or any entity owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., Ltd., other than COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. or any entity owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. (hereinafter, “General License K Covered Entities”). Additionally, for the purposes of General License K, the authorization for “maintenance” generally includes all transactions and activities ordinarily incident to performing under a contract or agreement in effect prior to September 25, 2019, provided that the level of performance is consistent with the terms of the general license and consistent with past practices that existed between the party and the General License K Covered Entities prior to September 25, 2019. Notwithstanding the absence of a contract or agreement in effect prior to September 25, 2019, the authorization for “maintenance” also generally includes all transactions and activities ordinarily incident to obtaining goods or services from, or providing goods or services to, General License K Covered Entities in a manner consistent with the terms of the general license and consistent with past practices that existed between the party, or any intermediary party, and the General License K Covered Entities prior to September 25, 2019. OFAC will consider the transaction history between the party, or any intermediary party, and the General License K Covered Entities prior to September 25, 2019 in assessing whether activity is consistent with past practices. The authorization for “maintenance” also generally includes authorization to enter into contingent contracts for transactions and activities consistent with the above, extending beyond the current expiration of General License K where any performance after the expiration of the general license is contingent on such performance either not being prohibited or being authorized by OFAC. 

For example, transactions and activities authorized by General License K could include issuing or accepting purchase orders (including for sales of fuel to General License K Entities) and making or receiving shipments (including undertaking new charters or voyages) that were initiated after September 25, 2019 involving General License K Entities, if such activity is ordinarily incident and necessary to contracts in effect prior to September 25, 2019 (provided the purchase and shipment amounts are consistent with past practices, as demonstrated by transaction history). Similarly, transactions and activities that are not within the framework of a preexisting agreement may be considered “maintenance” if such activity is consistent with the transaction history between the person and General License K Entities prior to September 25, 2019. Conversely, General License K would not authorize purchase orders and shipments involving the General License K Entities where there was no preexisting relationship between a person and a blocked entity or where the contemplated activity exceeds past practices that existed between the party and the General License K Entities prior to September 25, 2019 as demonstrated by transaction history. Stockpiling inventory, for example, would not be authorized unless transaction history indicates that the scope and extent of maintaining inventory is consistent with past practice. [11-27-2019] 


807. Can U.S. financial institutions process transactions involving COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., Ltd. under Iran General License K if the U.S. financial institution is the only U.S. person involved in the transaction?

Yes, provided the transaction is ordinarily incident and necessary to the maintenance or wind down of transactions involving, directly or indirectly, COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., Ltd., or any entity owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., Ltd., including any transaction or dealing in property or interests in property of the foregoing, subject to the conditions and expiration dates noted in Iran General License K. However, please note that Iran General License K does not authorize any transactions involving COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. or any entity owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. 

Please note that absent knowledge or a reason to know that the transaction is not authorized by Iran General License K, OFAC would not expect the intermediary U.S. financial institution to conduct additional due diligence beyond the information collected in the ordinary course of processing such transactions, and accordingly, in the event of a potential violation, OFAC would consider the totality of the facts and circumstances in determining the appropriate administrative enforcement response, if any. 

Please see FAQ 116 for additional guidance on due diligence for U.S. financial institutions serving as intermediaries within a transaction. [11-27-2019] 

Links:

OFAC Notice

FAQ 303

FAQ 804

New FAQs

On Friday, OFAC added the following individual:

AZARI JAHROMI, Mohammad Javad, Iran; DOB 16 Sep 1981; POB Jahrom, Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN] [IRAN-TRA].

to their Iranian sanctions program – specifically, under the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.

Link:

OFAC Notice

On Monday, UK regulators implemented changes to the following Iran non-proliferation designation:

MEHR BANK

a.k.a: (1) Mehr Finance and Credit Institute (2) Mehr Interest-Free Bank Address: 204 Taleghani Ave, Tehran, Iran. No. 182, Shahid Tohidi St, 4th Golsetan, Pasdaran Ave, Tehran 1666943, Iran Other Information: EU listing. Not UN. Controlled by Bonyad Taavon Sepah and the IRGC. Provides financial services to the IRGC. Listed on: 24/05/2011 Last Updated: 24/05/2011 18/11/2019 Group ID: 11582.

contained in a Corrigenda to Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012.

Links:

OFSI Notice

Corrigenda

“While the regime’s decision to jail our diplomats has cast a 40-year shadow over our relations, the United States knows that the longest-suffering victims of the Iranian regime are the Iranian people. We wish nothing more for them than a future with a truly representative government and friendship with the American people.”

– Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, press statement, November 4

REWARDS FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES NEW REWARD FOR INFORMATION ON ROBERT LEVINSON

“The @realDonaldTrump Administration has made clear: the regime in Iran must release all missing and detained Americans, including @HelpBobLevinson, @FreeXiyueWang, @FreeTheNamazis, and others. We will not rest until they are reunited with their families.”

– Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Twitter, November 4

  • The regime continues to unjustly detain Americans and to support terrorist proxy groups like Hizballah that engage in hostage taking.

  • The Trump Administration has made clear that the regime in Iran must release all missing and unjustly detained Americans, including Robert Levinson, Xiyue Wang, Siamak Namazi, and others. We will not rest until they are reunited with their families.

  • The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Program is advertising a new reward of up to $20 million for information leading to the safe location, recovery, and return of Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran over a decade ago with the involvement of the Iranian regime. Levinson, who has been missing since 2007, is the longest case of this kind in U.S. history.

  • Please see the press statement and Rewards for Justice and for more information.

SECRETARY POMPEO ISSUES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO IRAN’S NUCLEAR ESCALATION

  • “Iran’s latest nuclear escalations reflect the regime’s intentions all along: to extort the international community into accepting its violence and terror while it undermines the sovereignty of its neighbors. Members of the international community who are rightly concerned with Iran’s latest attacks and provocations should imagine how Iran would behave with a nuclear weapon. The United States will never allow this to happen.”

  • “Iran’s expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout. It is now time for all nations to reject this regime’s nuclear extortion and take serious steps to increase pressure. Iran’s continued and numerous nuclear provocations demand such action.”

– Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, press statement, November 7

TREASURY DESIGNATES SUPREME LEADER OF IRAN’S INNER CIRCLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ADVANCING REGIME’S DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN OPPRESSION

“@USTreasury designated 9 Iranian regime officials representing the unelected Supreme Leader whose office advances destabilizing policies around the world. The action blocks funds from flowing to a shadow network of his military and foreign affairs advisors who support terrorism.”

 State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, Twitter, November 4

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury took action against nine appointees and one entity representating the office of Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regime’s unelected Supreme Leader, whose office is responsible for advancing Iran’s radical agenda.

  • The designation seeks to block funds from flowing to a shadow network of Khamenei’s military and foreign affairs advisors who have oppressed the Iranian people, supported terrorism, and advanced destabilizing policies around the world for decades. The action specifically targets Ali Khamenei’s appointees in the Office of the Supreme Leader, the Expediency Council, the Armed Forces General Staff, and the Judiciary.

  • Two of the Supreme Leader’s appointees, who were sanctioned as part of this action have also been linked to the 1983 U.S. Marine barrack bombing in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. personnel and the 1994 bombing of Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA). As recently as October 2019, a representative of the Supreme Leader directly called on regional Iran-backed militias to capture Western embassies.

  • This action was taken pursuant to President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order (E.O.) 13876, signed on June 24, 2019. The E.O. imposed sanctions on the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Supreme Leader’s Office (SLO), and authorized sanctions on others associated with the Supreme Leader or the SLO. These actions complement Treasury’s previous additions of Supreme Leader Khamenei and the Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, to OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List).

  • Please see the press statement and the Department of Treasury for more information.

Link:

State Department Fact Sheet

On Monday, OFAC added the following persons:

BAGHERI, Mohammad (a.k.a. BAGHERI AFSHORDI, Mohammad; a.k.a. BAGHERI, Mohammed; a.k.a. BAQERI, Mohammad Hossein), Iran; DOB 1960; POB Tehran, Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

DEHGHAN, Hossein (a.k.a. DEHGHAN POUDEH, Hossein), Iran; DOB 1957; POB Poudeh, Isfahan, Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

GOLPAYEGANI, Mohammad Mohammadi, Iran; DOB 1943; POB Golpayegan, Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

HADDAD-ADEL, Gholamali (a.k.a. HADDAD ADEL, Gholamali; a.k.a. HADDAD ADEL, Gholam-Ali; a.k.a. HADDADADEL, Gholam-Ali), Iran; DOB 1945; POB Tehran, Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

HAGHANIAN, Vahid, Iran; DOB 1961; alt. DOB 1962; POB Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

KHAMENEI, Mojtaba (a.k.a. KHAMENEI, Sayyed Mojtaba Hosseini), Iran; DOB 1969; POB Mashhad, Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

RAISI, Ebrahim (a.k.a. RA’EESI, Sayyid Ibrahim; a.k.a. RAISOL-SADATI, Seyyid Ebrahim; a.k.a. RAIS-O-SADAT, Sayyid Ebrahim), Iran; DOB 14 Dec 1960; alt. DOB Nov 1960; alt. DOB Dec 1960; POB Masshad, Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

RASHID, Gholam Ali (a.k.a. RASHID, Gholamali), Iran; DOB 1953; alt. DOB 1954; POB Dezful, Iran; nationality Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876]. 

 

VELAYATI, Ali Akbar, Iran; DOB 25 Jun 1945; POB Shemiran, Tehran, Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [IRAN-EO13876].

and entity:

ARMED FORCES GENERAL STAFF (a.k.a. GENERAL STAFF OF IRANIAN ARMED FORCES; a.k.a. “AFGS”), Iran; Additional Sanctions Information – Subject to Secondary Sanctions [IRAN-EO13876].

to its Iran sanctions program under the authorizations from Executive Order 13876.

Additionally, the following 2 entities were removed from the Venezuela sanctions program:

MONSOON NAVIGATION CORPORATION, Trust Company Complex, Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro MH96960, Marshall Islands; Identification Number IMO 5403673 [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

OCEAN ELEGANCE Crude Oil Tanker Panama flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9038749 (vessel) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: MONSOON NAVIGATION CORPORATION).

Link:

OFAC Notice

Yesterday, the State Department issued a press release:

Secretary Pompeo is continuing restrictions on the Iranian regime’s nuclear program. This decision will help preserve oversight of Iran’s civil nuclear program, reduce proliferation risks, constrain Iran’s ability to shorten its “breakout time” to a nuclear weapon, and prevent the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes.

Concurrently, the Secretary made two determinations with sanctions implications pursuant to Section 1245 of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA): one identifying the construction sector of Iran as being controlled directly or indirectly by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); and one identifying four strategic materials as being used in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs. With these determinations, the United States will have additional authorities to prevent Iran from acquiring strategic materials for the IRGC, its construction sector, and its proliferation programs.

The United States is resolute in its commitment to negotiating enduring restrictions that deny Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon and to using the full range of our diplomatic and economic tools to constrain Iran’s destabilizing proliferation activities. As long as the Iranian regime continues to reject diplomacy and to expand its nuclear program, the economic pressure and diplomatic isolation will intensify.

and a fact sheet:

Pursuant to Section 1245 of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA), the Secretary of State has made two findings: one identifying the construction sector of Iran as being controlled directly or indirectly by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); and one identifying four strategic materials as ones that are being used in connection with the nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs of Iran.

First, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, has determined that the construction sector of Iran is controlled directly or indirectly by the IRGC. As a result of this determination, the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of raw and semi-finished metals, graphite, coal, and software for integrating industrial purposes will be sanctionable if those materials are to be used in connection with the Iranian construction sector.

Second, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, has determined that the following certain types of those materials are used in connection with the nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs of Iran: stainless steel 304L tubes; MN40 manganese brazing foil; MN70 manganese brazing foil; and stainless steel CrNi60WTi ESR + VAR (chromium, nickel, 60 percent tungsten, titanium, electro-slag remelting, vacuum arc remelting). As a result of this determination, the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of those materials will be sanctionable (regardless of end-use or end-user).

With these actions, the United States is continuing a campaign to maximize economic pressure on the Iranian regime. This campaign aims to fundamentally change the Iranian regime’s behavior, block all paths to a nuclear weapon, and end Iran’s state-sponsorship of terrorism and regional malign activity.

but OFAC hasn’t designated any new targets or issued any new regulations yet…

Yet.

Links:

State Department Press Release, Fact Sheet