The United States has imposed additional sanctions on Iran in the wake of Iran’s missile strike on military bases in Iraq. On January 10, 2020, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced that it had added 8 senior Iranian government officials and 17 Iranian metals producers and mining companies to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”). Concurrently, President Trump issued a new Executive Order, “Executive Order on Imposing Sanctions with Respect to Additional Sectors of Iran” (the “Order”), authorizing the imposition of secondary sanctions on certain transactions involving the construction, mining, manufacturing, and textiles sectors of the Iranian economy.
Effective November 18, 2019, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a final rule extending by 90 days through February 16, 2020 the validity of the Temporary General License (“TGL”) authorizing certain transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations to Chinese-headquartered Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (“Huawei”) and one hundred and fourteen of its non-US affiliates designated on the BIS Entity List. The TGL…
On October 10, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, and Salim Essa of South Africa (“the Guptas”) as Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”). The Guptas and their business associate, Essa, were designated in connection with their involvement in corruption under Executive Order 13818 (“EO 13818”), which implements and expands upon the sanctions authorities set out in the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The designation of the Guptas and Essa as SDNs represents one of the most high-profile applications of the corruption-related sanctions provision of EO 13818 to date.
OFAC stated that the Guptas and Essa were members of a significant corruption network that leveraged overpayments on government contracts, bribery, and other corrupt acts to influence actions taken by the government of South Africa, in particular by facilitating their capture of government contracts and misappropriation of state assets. As a result of their designation as SDNs, all four individuals’ property and the property of any entities that are owned 50 percent or more by them, which are in the United States or in the possession or control of a US person, are now blocked.
On September 9, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued Executive Order 13886 (“EO 13886”), expanding the US counter-terrorism sanctions program by amending Executive Order 13224 (“EO 13224”), which dates to the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. OFAC also designated 28 individuals and entities as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (“SDGTs”) under this new authority and updated various other entries on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List to reflect sanction of those authorities under the same authority. In addition, as described in statements here and here, the State Department implemented the new authority by designating Hurras al-Din, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria, and 12 leaders of SDGT groups (all of which were designated by OFAC on the same day).