Friday, May 27, 2011

U.S. Adds Several Entities and Individuals to Sanctions Programs

The U.S. government announced this week that it is adding a number of entities to two of its sanctions programs.  The following information is taken from a U.S. State Department Press Release:

On May 23, 2011, the United States imposed sanctions on the following entities:

  • Belarusian entities – Belarusian Optical Mechanical Association and BelTechExport;
  • Chinese entities and individuals – Mr. Karl Lee, Dalian Sunny Industries, Dalian Zhongbang Chemical Industries Company, and Xian Junyun Electronic
  • Iranian entities and individuals – Milad Jafari, Defense Industries Organization, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force, SAD Import-Export Company, and Shahid Bakeri Industries Group (SBIG)
  • North Korean entity – Tangun Trading
  • Syrian entities – Industrial Establishment of Defense and Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC)
  • Venezuelan entity – Venezuela Military Industries Company (CAVIM)

According to the U.S. government: "Sanctions were imposed on these entities as provided in the INKSNA because there was credible information indicating that they had transferred to or acquired from Iran, North Korea, or Syria equipment and technology listed on multilateral export control lists (Australia Group, Chemical Weapons Convention, Missile Technology Control Regime, Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement) or otherwise having the potential to make a material contribution to WMD or cruise or ballistic missile systems."

The sanctions prohibit U.S. government agencies from entering into any contracts with these entities or providing any assistance to them.  In addition, all export licenses are suspended.

In addition, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced the imposition of sanctions on seven companies under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) of 1996, as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) of 2010, for their activities in support of Iran's energy sector.  These are the first sanctions imposed by the United States for refined-petroleum related activities under ISA since it was amended by CISADA.  The sanctioned entities are:

"Petrochemical Commercial Company International aka PCCI (Jersey); Royal Oyster Group (UAE); and Speedy Ship aka Sepahan Oil Company or SPD (UAE/Iran): These firms are among the largest current suppliers of refined petroleum products to Iran and all three regularly engaged in deceptive practices in order to ship these products to Iran and evade U.S. sanctions. The sanctions we have imposed on these firms will prohibit them from U.S. foreign exchange transactions, U.S. banking transactions, and all U.S. property transactions.

Tanker Pacific (Singapore), Ofer Brothers Group (Israel), and Associated Shipbroking (Monaco): These companies are being sanctioned for their respective roles in a September 2010 transaction that provided a tanker valued at $8.65 million to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), an entity that has been designated by the United States, and the European Union for its role in supporting Iran's proliferation activities.

Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA): PDVSA, the state-owned oil company of Venezuela, has delivered at least two cargoes of reformate to Iran between December 2010 and March 2011, worth approximately $50 million. Reformate is a blending component that improves the quality of gasoline. The sanctions we have imposed on PDVSA prohibit the company from competing for U.S. government procurement contracts, from securing financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and from obtaining U.S. export licenses. These sanctions do not apply to PDVSA subsidiaries and do not prohibit the export of crude oil to the United States."

The U.S. State Department's Press Release contains the following statement:  "The United States is aggressively working with international partners to maintain pressure on the Government of Iran to comply with its international nuclear obligations. The sanctions announced today are an important step toward that goal, as they target Iran's ability to acquire and utilize resources in support of its illicit nuclear activities."


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