On Nov. 21, the Obama administration announced new sanctions designed to target Iran’s controversial nuclear and missile programs. The moves came on the same day that Britain cut all ties with Iranian banks and Canada announced a ban on exports for use in Iran’s petrochemical, oil and gas industries. The following is a fact sheet from the Treasury Department.
The United States is taking a series of actions to confront the threat posed by Iran and significantly increase pressure on Iran to comply with the full range of its international obligations and to address the international community’s longstanding concerns regarding its nuclear program. These steps include: expanding sanctions to target the supply of goods, services, technology, or support (above certain monetary thresholds) to Iran for the development of its petroleum resources and maintenance or expansion of its petrochemical industry; designating eleven individuals and entities under Executive Order 13382 for their role in Iran’s WMD program; and identifying the Islamic Republic of Iran as a jurisdiction of “primary money laundering concern” under section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act.
These actions underscore the Administration’s continued strong commitment – particularly in light of the IAEA Director General’s most recent report – to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its refusal to comply with its international obligations regarding its nuclear program. The Administration is also sending an unequivocal message to the Government of Iran today that it will continue to face increasing international pressure until it addresses the international community’s legitimate concerns regarding the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
New Sanctions under Executive Order (E.O.) 13590:
On November 19, President Obama signed E.O. 13590, which significantly expands existing energy-related sanctions on Iran to authorize sanctions on persons that knowingly provide:
1. Goods, Services, Technology, or Support for the Development of Petroleum Resources:
- The sale, lease, or provision of goods, services, technology, or support to Iran that could directly and significantly contribute to the enhancement of Iran’s ability to develop petroleum resources located in Iran could trigger sanctions if a single transaction has a fair market value of $1 million or more, or if a series of transactions from the same entity have a fair market value of $5 million or more in a 12-month period.
2. Goods, Services, Technology, or Support for the Maintenance or Expansion of the Petrochemical Sector:
- The sale, lease, or provision of goods, services, technology, or support to Iran that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of its domestic production of petrochemical products could trigger sanctions if a single transaction has a fair market value of $250,000 or more, or if a series of transactions from the same entity have a fair market value of $1 million or more in a 12-month period.
If a person is found to have provided a good, service, technology, or support described in E.O. 13590, the Secretary of State, in consultation with other agencies, has the authority to impose sanctions, including prohibitions on: foreign exchange transactions; banking transactions; property transactions in the United States; U.S. Export-Import Bank financing; U.S. export licenses; imports into the United States; loans of more than $10 million from U.S. financial institutions; U.S. government procurement contracts; and, for financial institutions, designation as a primary dealer or repository of U.S. government funds.
Designation of Entities under E.O. 13382:
The U.S. Department of State has designated the Nuclear Reactors Fuel Company, Noor Afzar Gostar Company, Fulmen Group, and Yasa Part under E.O. 13382 for their role in Iran’s nuclear procurement networks. They support a variety of Iran’s proscribed nuclear procurement activities, including centrifuge development, heavy water research reactor activities, and uranium enrichment.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury also has designated Javad Rahiqi, Modern Industries Technique Company (MITEC), Neka Novin, Parto Sanat, Paya Partov, Simatic, and the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA) under E.O. 13382. These entities are linked to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), which is a key actor in Iran’s nuclear program as the main Iranian organization for research and development activities in the field of nuclear technology, including Iran’s centrifuge enrichment program and experimental laser enrichment of uranium program. The AEOI was listed in the Annex to E.O. 13382 and has been sanctioned by the United Nations in Security Council resolution 1737.
E.O. 13382 blocks the assets under U.S. jurisdiction of the designated persons and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions involving them.
Identification of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a Jurisdiction of “Primary Money Laundering Concern” Under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury identified the Islamic Republic of Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Section 311) based on Iran’s support for terrorism; pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD); reliance on state-owned or controlled agencies to facilitate WMD proliferation; and the illicit and deceptive financial activities that Iranian financial institutions – including the Central Bank of Iran – and other state-controlled entities engage in to facilitate Iran’s illicit conduct and evade sanctions.
In issuing today’s Finding, Treasury has for the first time identified the entire Iranian financial sector; including Iran’s Central Bank, private Iranian banks, and branches, and subsidiaries of Iranian banks operating outside of Iran as posing illicit finance risks for the global financial system.
The Finding also creates a clear public record of the scope and depth of Iran’s illicit conduct, detailing the involvement of Iranian government agencies and banking institutions in WMD proliferation, support for terrorism, and other illicit conduct. In particular, the Finding includes new information about the Central Bank of Iran’s role in facilitating Iran’s illicit conduct and Iran’s efforts to evade international sanctions.
Today’s action reinforces U.S. and international sanctions already in place against Iran and provides greater certainty that the U.S. financial system is protected from Iranian illicit activity.
Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) also today filed a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), in which it proposes imposing a special measure against Iran. While current U.S. regulations already generally prohibit U.S. financial institutions from engaging in both direct and indirect transactions with Iranian financial institutions, this action would require U.S. financial institutions to implement additional due diligence measures in order to prevent any improper indirect access by Iranian banking institutions to U.S. correspondent accounts.
Link for the complete 311 finding: www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/Iran311Finding.pdf
Link for the NPRM: www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/Iran311Rulemaking...
On Nov. 18, 2011, a resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency expressed concern about Iran’s controversial nuclear program based on the latest report. Specifically, the IAEA Board of Governors:
1. Expresses deep and increasing concern about the unresolved issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program, including those which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military
2. Stresses that it is essential for Iran and the Agency to intensify their dialogue aiming at the urgent resolution of all outstanding substantive issues for the purpose of providing clarifications regarding those issues, including access to all relevant information, documentation, sites, material, and personnel in Iran;
3. Urges Iran once again to comply fully and without delay with its obligations under relevant
resolutions of the UN Security Council, and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of
Governors, including the application of the modified Code 3.1 and the implementation and prompt ratification of the Additional Protocol;
4. Expresses its continuing support for a diplomatic solution, and calls on Iran to engage seriously and without preconditions in talks aimed at restoring international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, while respecting the legitimate right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy consistent with the NPT;
5. Commends the Secretariat for its efforts to implement the NPT Safeguards Agreement in Iran, and requests the Director General to include in his progress report to the March 2012 meeting of the Board of Governors an assessment of the implementation of this resolution; and
6. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
The vote was 32 in favor, Cuba and Ecuador voted against and Indonesia abstained.
Click here for the IAEA Resolution
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the following statement about the IAEA Board of Governor’s resolution:
We welcome today’s resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors to hold Iran accountable for its failure to cooperate on its nuclear program. The world has sent a clear and unified message to Tehran that it is deeply troubled by the evidence revealed in last week’s report by Director General Amano. This report supplied the clearest confirmation of what the United States has long believed – that, despite its constant denials, Iran’s government has pursued technologies and equipment that could only be applied to a nuclear weapons program.
Iran has said that it seeks nuclear power solely for peaceful purposes. However, the Director General’s report and today’s action by the IAEA Board of Governors underscore that the international community does not find Iran’s claims credible. The P5+1 countries have affirmed Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program but make clear that with that right comes responsibilities – responsibilities Iran has yet to fulfill. The P5+1 remains ready to engage with Iran if Iran is genuinely prepared to engage in serious negotiations, where Iran can choose to rebuild international confidence in the nature of its nuclear program.
We commend the Director General and his staff for their thorough, detailed and professional report. In the coming weeks, we will work with our international partners to increase the pressure on Iran’s government until it decides to meet its international obligations.
In response to a draft resolution against Iran, its mission at the United Nations issued the following letter refuting U.S. allegations about an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington as "circumstantial and unsubstantiated."
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
No. 1312 15 November 2011
We are surprised to learn that a draft resolution contained in document A/66/L.8 entitled "Terrorist attacks on Internationally Protected Persons" is proposed by the United States under Agenda item 118 of the General Assembly, which refers to the alleged plot against the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington. This is an unprecedented attempt with all its ramifications for the credibility of the United Nations. In this regard, I would like to state the following:
By submitting this draft the sponsor is inviting the General Assembly to consider an unsubstantiated allegation, and as such it would amount to an unprecedented, thus unacceptable move. While under Article 10 of the UN Charter any matter could be considered by the General Assembly, however, it is evident that placing hypothetical, circumstantial and unsubstantiated matters on the agenda of this august body would be a gross disservice thereto. The case at hand is a clear example in this respect. If the General Assembly allows the submission and consideration of such draft resolution, this principal organ of the United Nations would run the risk of turning into a venue for settling political scores through introducing countless draft resolutions on contentious issues, which should be seriously avoided. Consequently, such an action, if pressed on, would significantly undermine the role, authority, integrity, and credibility of the General Assembly as the highest and universal political body of the United Nations.
Furthermore, by proposing this draft resolution under agenda item "the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy", the United States tends to exploit such an important document which is the symbol of global consensus against terrorism. Such a politically motivated move would indeed undermine the relevance and credibility of this major consensus document.
The United States attitude with regard to the alleged plot, which began with an explosive media campaign against Iran, and its long-standing hostile policies, is unconstructive and reveals once again the latter's ill-intentions. It is worth mentioning that this Government has supported acts of terrorism against the Islamic Republic of Iran in which many Iranians, including its diplomats were victims of such acts according to existing hard evidences, some of which were presented to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
As I explained in my letters dated 11 October 2011 (document A/66/513–S/2011/633) and 4 November 2011 (document A/66/546–S/2011/696), my Government categorically rejects the involvement of any of its officials or organs in the alleged plot against the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington as it has been claimed.
The Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirms its full commitment to its obligations under the relevant international legal instruments, including the 1973 "Convention on the Prevention of Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents".
Member States should be cautious about the adverse consequences of such a move, which is in contradiction to the spirit and letter of the Charter of the United Nations and 1970 "Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations."
It would be appreciated if this letter could be circulated as a document of the General Assembly under the agenda item 83.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
H.E. Mr. Nasser
President of the General Assembly,
United Nations, New York
cc: H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
United Nations, New York
The Islamists Are Coming
The Islamists Are Coming, edited by Robin Wright, surveys the rise of Islamist groups in the wake of the Arab Spring. Often lumped together, the more than 50 Islamist parties with millions of followers now constitute a whole new spectrum—separate from either militants or secular parties. They will shape the new order in the world’s most volatile region more than any other political bloc. Yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.
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