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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC sanctions Iran’s Morality Police and senior security officials for human rights violence

Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons Department of Treasury OFAC OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations Iran SDN List

Financial Crimes

On September 22, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13553 against Iran’s Morality Police along with seven senior leaders who oversee Iran’s security organizations. These designations were taken in response to recent abuse and violence against Iranian women and violence against peaceful protestors and members of Iranian civil society, among others. “Today’s action to sanction Iran’s Morality Police and senior Iranian security officials responsible for this oppression demonstrates the Biden - Harris Administration’s clear commitment to stand up for human rights, and the rights of women, in Iran and globally,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said.

As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property belonging to the sanctioned persons that are in the U.S. or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. U.S. persons are also prohibited from engaging in any dealings involving the property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons, and “persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals or entities designated today may themselves be exposed to designation,” OFAC said. Additionally, OFAC warned that “any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. correspondent or payable-through account sanctions.”

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