Iran

On November 5, 2018, the United States fully reimposed sanctions against Iran as part of its decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”).  President Trump announced the decision to withdraw on May 8, 2018, thus beginning the “wind-down” period for businesses to withdraw from Iran.  Continue Reading U.S. Reimposes Tough Sanctions on Iran; More Designations to Come

IranPresident Trump signed a new Executive Order on August 6, 2018, titled “Reimposing Certain Sanctions with Respect to Iran”. The Executive Order was timed to coincide with the last day of the 90-day wind-down period established for activities associated with certain sanctions relief authorized by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”).  As a result, the first round of sanctions against Iran will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on August 7, 2018. Continue Reading United States Announces Re-imposition of First Round of Nuclear Sanctions on Iran

IranOn June 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of  Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) officially revoked General Licenses H and I.  General License H previously allowed foreign owned or controlled subsidiaries of U.S. companies to engage in limited transactions with Iran that would have otherwise been prohibited under the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (the “ITSR”).  General License I previously allowed U.S. persons to negotiate and enter into contingent contracts for exports and reexports to Iran of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services that were eligible to potentially receive specific licenses under the Iran Nuclear Deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “JCPOA”).  OFAC previously advised that these revocations would be forthcoming in May, when President Trump formally announced his decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. Continue Reading OFAC Officially Revokes Iran General Licenses and Signals Aggressive Enforcement Posture

President Trump announced today, May 8, 2018, that the United States will withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal and will begin reimposing previously waived sanctions on Iran.  The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was signed by the U.S. in July 2015 along with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Iran. The White House issued a statement which explained that “President Trump is terminating United States participation in the JCPOA, as it failed to protect America’s national security interests.”

Continue Reading President Trump Announces Decision to Withdraw from Iran Nuclear Deal and Reimposition of Previously Waived Sanctions

On April 15, 2018, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a denial order against ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. (collectively “ZTE”), effectively banning U.S. companies from providing components to ZTE  because the company had failed to comply with the terms of a disciplinary agreement reached in March 2017 arising from violations of U.S. export control restrictions against Iran and North Korea. It is estimated that U.S. companies provide nearly 25-30 percent of the components used in ZTE products. ZTE’s U.S. subsidiary advertises that it has been ranked by independent industry analysts as the fourth-largest supplier of mobile devices in the U.S. overall and second-largest supplier of prepaid devices.

Continue Reading U.S. Commerce Department Rescinds Export Privileges for China’s ZTE

IranPresident Donald Trump has announced that he will approve certain sanctions waivers necessary in order to preserve the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). In an official statement, the President indicated that this is the last such waiver he will issue and warned that “the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.”

President Trump called on Congress to enact legislation addressing Iran and stated that the legislation should include the following critical components:

  • The legislation must require Iran to allow immediate inspections by international inspectors at all nuclear sites.
  • The legislation must “ensure that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon”.
  • The legislation “must have no expiration date.” President Trump stated that “My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon – not just for ten years, but forever.”
  • The legislation must subject Iran’s long-range missile program to the same sanctions imposed on its nuclear weapons program.

Continue Reading President Trump Temporarily Extends Iran Nuclear Deal

Globe showing AsiaThe U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has amended its Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (GTSR) in order to impose additional sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) within the timeline required by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Effective October 31, 2017, persons and entities that OFAC has designated as officials, agents, or affiliates of the IRGC remain subject to secondary blocking sanctions which continue to prohibit them from engaging in activity with US and non-US persons and, in addition, these amendments to the GTSR now impose new sanctions to prohibit the designated IRGC affiliates from receiving humanitarian donations and other forms of assistance. OFAC has provided a list of the IRGC affiliates subject to these amendments here. Continue Reading OFAC and State Department Update Iran and Russia Sanctions Under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

After undertaking a broader review of the United States’ policies with regard to Iran, President Donald Trump announced today that he will not certify the Iran nuclear deal, more commonly referred as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). This move stops short of unraveling the deal but allows Congress to consider the agreement for the next 60 days on an expedited basis in order to decide whether to re-impose sanctions lifted under the terms of the agreement. Continue Reading President Trump Declines Certification of Iran Nuclear Deal: What Does This Mean?

International flagsThe Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) recently announced new sanctions on entities and individuals in Iran and Mexico. These sanctions were designated against individuals associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (“the Quds Force”), Iranian entities involved in hacking against American financial institutions in 2011 and 2012, and Mexican businesses and individuals associated with drug trafficking.

Continue Reading OFAC Announces New Sanctions on Iran and Mexico

White HouseToday, President Trump officially signed H.R. 3364, the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) into law. CAATSA originated as a bill which was focused on only Iran. However, partially in response to Russian cyber-interference with the 2016 election, the Senate expanded CAATSA to impose additional sanctions against Russia and also codify into law various sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration in the form of Executive Orders. The House of Representatives then approved these additions and added further sanctions against North Korea. Eventually, the House and Senate approved the final version of CAATSA by a margin of 419-3 and 98-2, respectively. For additional detail on CAATSA’s legislative history, please see our previous alerts here, here and here.

Continue Reading President Signs Russian, Iran and North Korea Sanctions Legislation into Law