United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

U.S. Sanctions Iran's Shipping and Energy Sectors

            On November 30, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved new sanctions on Iran’s energy and shipping sectors. Foreign financial institutions will face stiff penalties for facilitating the sale, supply or transfer of goods or services from Iranian energy and shipping companies. The sanctions may also stem the transfer of gold from Turkey to Iran, which is helping Tehran buy foreign goods. Senators voted 94-0 to add the new sanctions into the annual defense policy bill. “We must be clear to the Iranians that toughing it out and waiting it out is not an option, that it will only get worse,” said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, a co-author of the amendment containing the sanctions. The following are excerpts from the bill.

Except as provided in this section, the President shall prohibit the opening, and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintaining, in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that the President determines knowingly, on or after the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, conducts or facilitates a significant financial transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of goods or services described in paragraph (3).
    (3) GOODS AND SERVICES DESCRIBED.--Goods or services described in this paragraph are goods or services used in connection with the energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sectors of Iran, including the National Iranian Oil Company, the National Iranian Tanker Company, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

    (a) Sale, Supply, or Transfer of Certain Materials.--The President shall impose 5 or more of the sanctions described in section 6(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note) with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, sells, supplies, or transfers, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran--
    (1) a precious metal;
    (2) a material described in subsection (c) determined pursuant to subsection (d)(1) to be used by Iran as described in that subsection;
    (3) any other material described in subsection (c) if--
    (A) the material is--
    (i) to be used in connection with the energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sectors of Iran or any sector of the economy of Iran controlled directly or indirectly by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps;
    (ii) sold, supplied, or transferred to or from an Iranian person included on the list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury; or
    (iii) relevant to the nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs of Iran; or
    (B) the material is resold, retransferred, or otherwise supplied--
    (i) to an end-user in a sector described in clause (i) of subparagraph (A);
    (ii) to a person described in clause (ii) of that subparagraph; or
    (iii) for a program described in clause (iii) of that subparagraph.
Click here for the full text of the defense bill.


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