U.S. Treasury clamps down on its finances

In a swift follow-up move after the passage of the United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran earlier this month, the United States Treasury announced the first set of sanctions designations “targeting Iran's nuclear and missile programmes”.

The Treasury said the sanctions it had announced targeted in particular “Iran's use of its financial sector, shipping industry and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps to carry out and mask its proliferation activities.”

The Treasury said that under Executive Order 13382 of UNSCR 1929, which permitted the freezing of assets of Iran, it had designated the following Iranian institutions: Post Bank of Iran for its links to Bank Sepah; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) entities and individuals; the IRGC Air Force and IRGC Missile Command (both of which were alleged to have ties to Iran's ballistic missile programme); Rah Sahel and Sepanir Oil and Gas Engineering Co. for alleged ties to previously designated Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters; five Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) front companies; and numerous individuals for their roles in the IRGC and in Iran's alleged weapons programmes.

The Treasury said that it had also 27 vessels blocked because of their connection to IRISL and updated the entries for 71 already-blocked IRISL vessels to identify new names given to these vessels as part of IRISL's efforts to evade sanctions.

Further, it identified 22 entities in the insurance, petroleum and petrochemicals industries determined to be owned or controlled by the Government of Iran by adding them to Appendix A of the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITR). The ITR prohibit transactions between U.S. persons and the Government of Iran. As a result of these designations, the Treasury said, “all transactions involving any of the designees and any U.S. person are prohibited, and any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.”

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