On January 16, 2020, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) released a new frequently asked question (“FAQ”) regarding Iran-related sanctions. This FAQ comes on the heels of the US Government’s recent issuance of Executive Order 13902 (“EO 13902”) on January 10, 2020, which expanded secondary sanctions to target the Iranian construction, mining, manufacturing, and textile sectors and those parties engaged in “significant transactions” or providing “material support” to any parties designated…

On November 5, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a new Venezuela-related general license (General License No. 35) (“GL 35”) to authorize certain administrative transactions with the Government of Venezuela (“GOV”) prohibited by Executive Order (“EO”) 13884 (“Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela”); issued General License No. 34A (“GL 34A”), which supersedes and replaces General License No. 34, and authorizes transactions involving certain GOV-related individuals prohibited by EO 13884; and identified five current GOV officials on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”) pursuant to EO 13884.

Then, on November 21, 2019, OFAC announced the amendment of the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations (“VSR,” 31 C.F.R. Part 591) to incorporate additional EOs; make certain clarifying changes; add a GL authorizing US Government activities; and add an interpretive provision regarding activities related to judicial processes.  The VSR regulatory amendments took effect on November 22, 2019 concurrent with their publication in the Federal Register, available here.

These Venezuela sanctions developments are described in more detail below.  Our previous blog posts about US sanctions targeting Venezuela are available here.

On October 25, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a final rule identifying Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern (“Final Rule”) under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT ACT, seeking to further isolate Iran from the global financial system.  Concurrently, the US Treasury and State Departments announced a new humanitarian mechanism to ensure that funds associated with permissible trade in support of the Iranian people are not diverted by the Iranian regime to develop ballistic missiles, support terrorism, or finance other malign activities.  These measures build upon the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (“OFAC”) additional sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran discussed in our prior blog post here.   

On October 17, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) re-issued and amended as General License No. 13D (“GL 13D”) to continue the validity period for transactions concerning Nynas AB and its affiliates (“Nynas”), as further described below.  In addition, on October 21, 2019, OFAC re-issued as General License No. 8D (“GL 8D”) to continue the validity period certain maintenance activities involving Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PdVSA”) where certain entities are involved, as further described below.  Finally, on October 24, 2019, OFAC re-issued and amended as General License No. 5A (“GL 5A”) to prohibit dealings or payments for three months related to a specific PdVSA bond.  Our blog post regarding previous amendments to these GLs is available here.