September 18, 2015
On September 17, a ranking Treasury official told lawmakers that the United States is “intensifying a battery of sanctions that will not change under the terms of that deal” even while preparing to suspend secondary nuclear sanctions in return for Iranian compliance. “These include sanctions against Iranian human rights abusers as well as our powerful campaign against the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force, as well as Hizballah and other Iranian partners and proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, and beyond,” Adam Szubin, nominee for Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes, told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs at his nomination hearing. Szubin has served as Director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control since 2006. The following are excerpts from Szubin’s testimony and answers to lawmakers’ questions.
“[U]nder Stuart Levey’s and then David Cohen’s leadership, TFI (Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence) devised and executed a strategy to dramatically intensify the pressure against the government of Iran and its malign policies, its nuclear program chief among them. Through a steady campaign to expose Iran's deceptive activities in the financial arena, we cut Iran’s banks off from the world’s financial centers, and badly wounded its trade and financial strength. In 2010, Congress, with this Committee at the center, then dramatically advanced the effort, passing bipartisan measures that brought Iran’s crude oil sales down by 60 percent, escrowed Iran’s foreign reserves in banks around the world, and ensured that Iran’s leaders knew that it would not recover economically until it clearly and verifiably closed off all of its pathways to a nuclear weapon. These efforts led to the election of President Rouhani and culminated in the diplomatic process that produced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The women and men of TFI worked incredibly hard over the past decade to impose and enforce these measures, and to combat every effort to circumvent them. And, even as we prepare to suspend our secondary nuclear sanctions if Iran fulfills its commitments under the deal, we are simultaneously intensifying a battery of sanctions that will not change under the terms of that deal. These include sanctions against Iranian human rights abusers as well as our powerful campaign against the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force, as well as Hizballah and other Iranian partners and proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, and beyond. And we will be doing so in active cooperation with our partners in Europe, the Gulf, and Israel.”
Banks found to be supporting militant groups “will find themselves back onto the list, and the Iranians I believe understand that.”