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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC sanctions Iranian officials for serious human rights abuses

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

Financial Crimes

On March 8, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions, pursuant to Executive Orders 13553 and 13846, against several Iranian regime officials and entities for serious human rights abuses against women and girls. Included among the sanctioned individuals are “the top commander of the Iranian army and a high-ranking leader in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as well as an Iranian official who was central to the regime’s efforts to block internet access.” OFAC also imposed sanctions against three Iranian companies and their leadership for their role in enabling the violent repression by the Iranian Law Enforcement Forces of peaceful protestors. The actions, taken in coordination with the EU, UK, and Australia, mark the continued effort to impose sanctions on persons who engage in serious human rights abuse or censorship with respect to Iran.

As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property belonging to the sanctioned persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Additionally, “any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.” OFAC further warned that “persons that engage in certain transactions with the persons designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action,” and that “any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for any of the persons designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions.”