Iran

 

 

Geography of Iran

Iran is located in the middle-east, bordering the Persian Gulf and numerous other strategic countries. Its eastern border is largely comprised of a mountainous border with Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its western border is made up of a long line with Iraq, with Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan making up some of the north-western border. Iran's capital city of Tehran is located near the center of the country, south of the Caspian Sea.

Iran's southern border is largely comprised of the Persian Gulf. This not only gives the country ports for import and export, but allows it to control monitor and in some cases control the flow of oil and other items into Iraq, Kuwait and other countries by threatening to blockage the strait of Hormuz.

 

Continuation of National Emergency

On March 8, 2011 President Obama extended the national emergency relating to Iran for another year. 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 08, 2011
NOTICE ON THE CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN

NOTICE
- - - - - - -

On March 15, 1995, by Executive Order 12957, the President declared a national emergency with respect to Iran pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Iran. On May 6, 1995, the President issued Executive Order 12959, imposing more comprehensive sanctions to further respond to this threat; on August 19, 1997, the President issued Executive Order 13059, consolidating and clarifying the previous orders; and on September 28, 2010, I issued Executive Order 13553 to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957.

Because the actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, the national emergency declared on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2011. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Iran. Because the emergency declared by Executive Order 12957 constitutes an emergency separate from that declared on November 14, 1979, by Executive Order 12170, this renewal is distinct from the emergency renewal of November 2010. This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 8, 2011.

 

Summary

On November 21, 2011 President Obama issued an executive order putting in place new economic sanctions against the government of Iran. The sanctions put limits on the amount of business that could be conducted with the government of Iran and prescribed penalties for those who broke the sanctions. It also stated that those who violating sanctions would not be made aware that their accounts were being frozen until after the action takes placed to prevent transferring funds out of accounts to be seized.

 

Fact Sheet

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                 November 21, 2011

Fact Sheet: U.S. Pressure and Sanctions Against Iran

As part of our ongoing efforts to increase the cost of Iran’s failure to live up to its international obligations regarding its nuclear program, today the United States announced the imposition of new sanctions against Iran. These measures build upon the framework that this Administration has established, which is comprised of national and multilateral sanctions that have contributed to what Iranian President Ahmadinejad recently called “the heaviest economic onslaught on a nation in history.” Our sanctions have:

  • Slowed the Iranian nuclear program. The former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Salehi, admitted in 2010 that sanctions have delayed Iran’s enrichment program. Iranian officials have long complained that sanctions have limited their access to nuclear technology and information. Sanctions have sensitized countries to the risk of doing business regarding items that can be used to further Iran’s nuclear program, resulting in Iran’s inability to acquire thousands of a dual-use nature. The United States has also made use of the inspection provisions contained in United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1929 to work with partners to deny Iran access to items it has procured and to call out clearly the extent of Iran’s sanctions evasion.
  • Stymied Iran’s access to the international financial system. U.S. sanctions on Iranian financial institutions paved the way for Iran’s near-total isolation from the international financial system. Under this Administration, we have tightened Iran’s access by imposing sanctions on dozens of firms and financial institutions that were enabling Iran to evade international sanctions. UNSCR 1929 explicitly calls on states to prevent the provision of financial services, including insurance and re-insurance, that could contribute to Iran’s illicit nuclear and missile-related activities. Iran has been forced to resort to exotic, expensive, and cumbersome methods to engage in the most basic of financial transactions. Today’s announcement that the United States has identified Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern is the latest in our efforts to inform the international financial community of the risks involved in doing business with Iran.
  • Hindered Iran’s oil and gas sector. U.S. sanctions have deterred investment in Iran’s oil and gas sector for years. However, with this Administration’s robust implementation of both the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) and the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA), we have been successful in pushing Iran’s erstwhile foreign partners to exit Iran. The Iranian oil ministry acknowledged publicly that it is $100 billion short in investment that it needs to develop this sector; we are confident that, as a result of our sanctions, Iran will not receive this assistance. Today, we have expanded our already robust sanctions in this regard today through our decision to make sanctionable the provision of certain goods, services, technology, and support to Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical industries. UNSCR 1929 notes the potential connection between Iran’s revenues derived from its energy sector and the funding of Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. And the EU, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and several others have taken similar steps to prohibit support to Iran’s energy sector.
  • Exposed Iran’s support for terrorism. We have designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism and used our counterterrorism authorities to impose sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities responsible for terrorism. This includes the IRGC-Qods Force and, in October, the five individuals in connection with the alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador al-Jubeir in Washington, D.C. We have also used these authorities to identify other ways in which Iran contributes to terrorism, such as its facilitation of the efforts of al Qa’ida members operating in Iran.
  • Demonstrated our support for universal human rights. Beyond our international dialogue and our civil society outreach programs, we have used our sanctions authorities to impose consequences on those who are responsible for serious human rights violations in Iran. We intend to make additional use of this tool, to continue to demonstrate our solidarity with those in Iran striving for acknowledgment of these rights by Iranian authorities, and to encourage U.S. partners to take similar steps.

The sanctions that we have imposed – along with our partners – have been targeted against Iran’s illicit conduct and the mechanisms by which Iran supports these activities. However, Iran has decided to utilize even its otherwise legitimate financial institutions and firms to support its illicit activities. This has resulted in growing numbers of its firms, banks, and individuals involving themselves in illicit conduct, and therefore increased Iranian exposure to sanctions. As long as Iran’s illicit conduct continues, the United States will be unrelenting in our efforts to expose Iranian cover organizations, deceptive business practices, and other efforts to evade sanctions.

 

Message to Congress

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                 November 21, 2011

Message to Congress -- Iran Sanctions

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the "order") that takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995.

In Executive Order 12957, the President found that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. To deal with that threat, the President in Executive Order 12957 declared a national emergency and imposed prohibitions on certain transactions with respect to the development of Iranian petroleum resources. To further respond to that threat, Executive Order 12959 of May 6, 1995, imposed comprehensive trade and financial sanctions on Iran. Executive Order 13059 of August 19, 1997, consolidated and clarified the previous orders.

In the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-195) (22 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.) (CISADA), which I signed into law on July 1, 2010, the Congress found that the illicit nuclear activities of the Government of Iran, along with its development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles and its support for international terrorism, threaten the security of the United States. The Congress also found in CISADA that economic sanctions imposed pursuant to the provisions of CISADA, the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172) (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) (ISA), and IEEPA, and other authorities available to the United States to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, are necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States. To take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 and to implement section 105(a) of CISADA (22 U.S.C. 8514(a)), I issued Executive Order 13553 on September 28, 2010, to impose sanctions on officials of the Government of Iran and other persons acting on behalf of the Government of Iran determined to be responsible for or complicit in certain serious human rights abuses. To take additional steps with respect to the threat posed by Iran and to provide implementing authority for a number of the sanctions set forth in ISA, as amended by, inter alia, CISADA, I issued Executive Order 13574 on May 23, 2011, to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to implement certain sanctions imposed pursuant to ISA by the Secretary of State.

This order expands upon actions taken pursuant to ISA, as amended by, inter alia, CISADA. The ISA requires that, absent a waiver, the President impose at least three of nine possible forms of sanctions on persons determined to have made certain investments in Iran's energy sector. The CISADA expanded ISA to, inter alia, require the same treatment of persons determined to have provided refined petroleum to Iran above specified monetary thresholds or have provided certain goods, services, technology, information, or support to Iran related to the importation or development of refined petroleum. This order authorizes the Secretary of State to impose similar sanctions on persons determined to have provided certain goods, services, technology, or support that contributes to either Iran's development of petroleum resources or to Iran's production of petrochemicals, two sectors that continue to fund Iran's illicit nuclear activities and that could serve as conduits for Iran to obtain proliferation sensitive technology. Because CISADA has impeded Iran's ability to develop its domestic refining capacity, Iran has tried to compensate by using its petrochemical facilities to refine petroleum. These new authorities will allow the United States to target directly Iran's attempts to subvert U.S. sanctions.

This order authorizes the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, and with the President of the Export-Import Bank, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and other agencies and officials as appropriate, to impose sanctions on a person upon determining that the person:

  • knowingly, on or after the effective date of the order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or enhancement of Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources located in Iran;
  • knowingly, on or after the effective date of this order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $250,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $1,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or expansion of Iran's domestic production of petrochemical products;
  • is a successor entity to a person that engaged in a provision of goods, services, technology, or support for which sanctions may be imposed pursuant to this new order;
  • owns or controls a person that engaged in provision of goods, services, technology, or support for which sanctions may be imposed pursuant to this new order and had actual knowledge or should have known that the person engaged in the activities; or
  • is owned or controlled by, or under common ownership or control with, a person that engaged in the provision of goods, services, technology, or support for which sanctions may be imposed pursuant to this new order, and knowingly participated in the provision of such goods, services, technology, or support.

The following sanctions may be selected for imposition on a person that the Secretary of State determines to meet any of the above criteria:

  • the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank shall deny approval of the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in an extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to the sanctioned person;
  • agencies shall not issue any specific license or grant any other specific permission or authority under any statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or reexport of goods or technology to the sanctioned person;
  • with respect to a sanctioned person that is a financial institution, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shall take such actions as they deem appropriate, including denying designation, or terminating the continuation of any prior designation of, the sanctioned person as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments; or agencies shall prevent the sanctioned person from serving as an agent of the United States Government or serving as a repository for United States Government funds;
  • agencies shall not procure, or enter into a contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the sanctioned person;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period unless such person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the loans or credits are provided for such activities;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that come within the United States, or that are or come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the sanctioned person, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in; or
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall restrict or prohibit imports of goods, technology, or services, directly or indirectly, into the United States from the sanctioned person.

I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury the authority, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of section 3 of the order. All agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order.

I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 20, 2011.

 

Executive Order

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                 November 21, 2011

Executive Order -- Iran Sanctions

AUTHORIZING THE IMPOSITION OF CERTAIN SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE PROVISION OF GOODS, SERVICES, TECHNOLOGY, OR SUPPORT FOR IRAN'S ENERGY AND PETROCHEMICAL SECTORS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and in order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, hereby order:

Section 1. The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, and with the President of the Export-Import Bank, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and other agencies and officials as appropriate, is hereby authorized to impose on a person any of the sanctions described in section 2 or 3 of this order upon determining that the person:

(a) knowingly, on or after the effective date of this order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or enhancement of Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources located in Iran;

(b) knowingly, on or after the effective date of this order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $250,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $1,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or expansion of Iran's domestic production of petrochemical products;

(c) is a successor entity to a person referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section;

(d) owns or controls a person referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section, and had actual knowledge or should have known that the person engaged in the activities referred to in that subsection; or

(e) is owned or controlled by, or under common ownership or control with, a person referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section, and knowingly participated in the activities referred to in that subsection.

Sec. 2. When the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 1 of this order, has determined that a person meets any of the criteria described in section 1 and has selected any of the sanctions set forth below to impose on that person, the heads of relevant agencies, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall take the following actions where necessary to implement the sanctions imposed by the Secretary of State:

(a) the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank shall deny approval of the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in an extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to the sanctioned person;

(b) agencies shall not issue any specific license or grant any other specific permission or authority under any statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or reexport of goods or technology to the sanctioned person;

(c) with respect to a sanctioned person that is a financial institution:

(i) the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shall take such actions as they deem appropriate, including denying designation, or terminating the continuation of any prior designation of, the sanctioned person as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments; or

(ii) agencies shall prevent the sanctioned person from serving as an agent of the United States Government or serving as a repository for United States Government funds; or

(d) agencies shall not procure, or enter into a contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the sanctioned person.

(e) The prohibitions in subsections (a)-(d) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

Sec. 3. (a) When the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 1 of this order, has determined that a person has engaged in the activities described in section 1 and has selected any of the sanctions set forth below to impose on that person, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall take the following actions where necessary to implement the sanctions imposed by the Secretary of State:

(i) prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period unless such person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the loans or credits are provided for such activities;

(ii) prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest;

(iii) prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person;

(iv) block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that come within the United States, or that are or come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the sanctioned person, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in; or

(v) restrict or prohibit imports of goods, technology, or services, directly or indirectly, into the United States from the sanctioned person.

(b) I hereby determine that, to the extent section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) may apply, the making of donations of the type of articles specified in such section by, to, or for the benefit of any sanctioned person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a)(iv) of this section would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by subsection (a)(iv) of this section.

(c) The prohibitions in subsection (a)(iv) of this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any sanctioned person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such sanctioned person.

(d) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

Sec. 4. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 5. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;

(d) the term "financial institution" includes (i) a depository institution (as defined in section 3(c)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)(1)), including a branch or agency of a foreign bank (as defined in section 1(b)(7) of the International Banking Act of 1978) (12 U.S.C. 3101(7)); (ii) a credit union; (iii) a securities firm, including a broker or dealer; (iv) an insurance company, including an agency or underwriter; and (v) any other company that provides financial services;

(e) the term "United States financial institution" means a financial institution (including its foreign branches) organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States or located in the United States;

(f) the term "sanctioned person" means a person on whom the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 1 of this order, has determined to impose sanctions pursuant to section 1;

(g) the term "to develop" petroleum resources means to explore for, or to extract, refine, or transport by pipeline, petroleum resources;

(h) the term "Iran" means the Government of Iran and the territory of Iran and any other territory or marine area, including the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, over which the Government of Iran claims sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction, provided that the Government of Iran exercises partial or total de facto control over the area or derives a benefit from economic activity in the area pursuant to international arrangements;

(i) the term "Government of Iran" includes the Government of Iran, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Iran;

(j) the term "knowingly," with respect to a conduct, a circumstance, or a result, means that the person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result;

(k) the term "petroleum resources" includes petroleum, oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and refined petroleum products;

(l) the term "refined petroleum products" means diesel, gasoline, jet fuel (including naptha-type and kerosene-type jet fuel), and aviation gasoline; and

(m) the term "petrochemical products" includes any aromatic, olefin, and synthesis gas, and any of their derivatives, including ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, xylene, ammonia, methanol, and urea.

Sec. 6. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to section 3(a)(iv) of this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957, there need be no prior notice of an action taken pursuant to section 3(a)(iv) of this order.

Sec. 7. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of section 3 of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.

Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 9. The measures taken pursuant to this order are in response to actions of the Government of Iran occurring after the conclusion of the 1981 Algiers Accords, and are intended solely as a response to those later actions.

Sec. 10. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on November 21, 2011.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 20, 2011.

 

Summary

In December of 2011, the House and Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. That legislation established additional sanctions on all Iranian banks.

The text below shows the relevant section of the NDAA and the documents produced by the White House to describe the reasoning and method of the sanctions on oil and gas production.

 

NDAA Text

SEC. 1245. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE FINANCIAL SECTOR OF IRAN.
(a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) On November 21, 2011, the Secretary of the Treasury issued a finding under section 5318A of title 31, United States Code, that identified Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern.

(2) In that finding, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury wrote, ‘‘The Central Bank of Iran, which regulates Iranian banks, has assisted designated Iranian banks by transferring billions of dollars to these banks in 2011. In mid-2011, the CBI transferred several billion dollars to designated banks, including Saderat, Mellat, EDBI and Melli, through a variety of payment schemes. In making these transfers, the CBI attempted to evade sanctions by minimizing the direct involvement of large international banks with both CBI and designated Iranian banks.’’.

(3) On November 22, 2011, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, wrote, ‘‘Treasury is calling out the entire Iranian banking sector, including the Central Bank of Iran, as posing terrorist financing, proliferation financing, and money laundering risks for the global financial system.’’.

(b) DESIGNATION OF FINANCIAL SECTOR OF IRAN AS OF PRIMARY MONEY LAUNDERING CONCERN.—The financial sector of Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran, is designated as of primary money laundering concern for purposes of section 5318A of title 31, United States Code, because of the threat to government and financial institutions resulting from the illicit activities of the Government of Iran, including its pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for international terrorism, and efforts to deceive responsible financial institutions and evade sanctions.

(c) FREEZING OF ASSETS OF IRANIAN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.—The President shall, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of an Iranian financial institution if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(d) IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE CENTRAL BANK OF IRAN AND OTHER IRANIAN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as specifically provided in this subsection, beginning on the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President—

(A) shall prohibit the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that the President determines has knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction with the Central Bank of Iran or another Iranian financial institution designated by the Secretary of the Treasury for the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); and (B) may impose sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) with respect to the Central Bank of Iran.

(2) EXCEPTION FOR SALES OF FOOD, MEDICINE, AND MEDICAL DEVICES.—The President may not impose sanctions under paragraph (1) with respect to any person for conducting or facilitating a transaction for the sale of food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran.

(3) APPLICABILITY OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO FOREIGN CENTRAL BANKS.—Except as provided in paragraph (4), sanctions imposed under paragraph (1)(A) shall apply with respect to a foreign financial institution owned or controlled by the government of a foreign country, including a central bank of a foreign country, only insofar as it engages in a financial transaction for the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products to or from Iran conducted or facilitated on or after that date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(4) APPLICABILITY OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO PETROLEUM TRANSACTIONS.—

(A) REPORT REQUIRED.—Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 60 days thereafter, the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall submit to Congress a report on the availability and price of petroleum and petroleum products produced in countries other than Iran in the 60-day period preceding the submission of the report.

(B) DETERMINATION REQUIRED.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall make a determination, based on the reports required by subparagraph (A), of whether the price and supply of petroleum and petroleum products produced in countries other than Iran is sufficient to permit purchasers of petroleum and petroleum products from Iran to reduce significantly in volume their purchases from Iran.

(C) APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS.—Except as provided in subparagraph (D), sanctions imposed under paragraph (1)(A) shall apply with respect to a financial transaction conducted or facilitated by a foreign financial institution on or after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act for the purchase of petroleum or petroleum products from Iran if the President determines pursuant to subparagraph (B) that there is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions.

(D) EXCEPTION.—Sanctions imposed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to a foreign financial institution if the President determines and reports to Congress, not later than 90 days after the date on which the President makes the determination required by subparagraph (B), and every 180 days thereafter, that the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution has significantly reduced its volume of crude oil purchases from Iran during the period beginning on the date on which the President submitted the last report with respect to the country under this subparagraph.

(5) WAIVER.—The President may waive the imposition of sanctions under paragraph (1) for a period of not more than 120 days, and may renew that waiver for additional periods of not more than 120 days, if the President—

(A) determines that such a waiver is vital to the national security of the United States; and (B) submits to Congress a report—

(i) providing a justification for the waiver; and

(ii) that includes any concrete cooperation the President has received or expects to receive as a result of the waiver.

(e) MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY INITIATIVE.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The President shall—

(A) carry out an initiative of multilateral diplomacy to persuade countries purchasing oil from Iran—

(i) to limit the use by Iran of revenue from purchases of oil to purchases of nonluxury consumers goods from the country purchasing the oil; and

(ii) to prohibit purchases by Iran of— (I) military or dual-use technology, including items—

(aa) in the Annex to the to the Missile Technology Control Regime Guidelines;
(bb) in the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, done at Paris January 13, 1993, and entered into force April 29, 1997 (commonly known as the ‘‘Chemical Weapons Convention’’);
(cc) in Part 1 or 2 of the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines;on a control list of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies; or

(II) any other item that could contribute to Iran’s conventional, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons program; and

(B) conduct outreach to petroleum-producing countries to encourage those countries to increase their output of crude oil to ensure there is a sufficient supply of crude oil from countries other than Iran and to minimize any impact on the price of oil resulting from the imposition of sanctions under this section.

(2) REPORT REQUIRED.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the efforts of the President to carry out the initiative described in paragraph (1)(A) and conduct the outreach described in paragraph (1)(B) and the results of those efforts.

(f) FORM OF REPORTS.—Each report submitted under this section shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex.

(g) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(1) ACCOUNT; CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNT; PAYABLE-THROUGH ACCOUNT.—The terms ‘‘account’’, ‘‘correspondent account’’, and ‘‘payable-through account’’ have the meanings given those terms in section 5318A of title 31, United States Code.

(2) FOREIGN FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.—The term ‘‘foreign financial institution’’ has the meaning of that term as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to section 104(i) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8513(i)).

(3) UNITED STATES PERSON.—The term ‘‘United States person’’ means—

(A) a natural person who is a citizen or resident of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)); and

(B) an entity that is organized under the laws of the United States or jurisdiction within the United States.

 

 

Summary

For several years, Iran and opposing countries have been engaging in a covert war in which Iranian scientists are assassinated, and the US and other countries spy on and act to oppose Iran's nuclear program. Since January of 2010, there have been at least 6 assassination attempts on nuclear scientists in Iran with 5 of those being successful. Most of these attempts have involved a motorcyclist placing a bomb on a car or a bomb attached or situated near the target's victim and then detonated by remote. No government has claimed responsbility for the attacks.

In October of 2011, two Iranian nationals were arrested in the US and accused of attempting to assassinate the ambassador to the US from Saudi Arabia.

In November of 2011, a missile base roughly 30 miles from the capital of Tehran was destroyed in what Iran claimed was an accident in which ordinance exploded unexpectedly. Pictures of the devastation have led critics to claim that the base was bombed by US or other forces.

In December of 2011, Iran announced that it had captured a Sentinel drone that it claimed was spying on Iranian nuclear program. The Iranian government showed the drone on national television and claimed to have brought the vehicle down without shooting it. The US government claimed that the UAV ran out of fuel and fell to the ground after a malfunction.

 

Massoud Ali ­Mohammadi

In January of 2010, Massoud Ali ­Mohammadi was blown up outside his home in an smart northern suburb of Tehran by a remote-control bomb that had been attached to a motorcycle parked on the street. Mohammadi was a nuclear scientist but was not officially involved with the Iranian nuclear program. He was involved with the Iranian opposition party.

 

Shahram Amiri

Shahram Amiri was an Iranian nuclear scientist who disappeared in the spring of 2009 while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. About a year later two videos appeared, each purporting to be declarations by Amiri. One video showed him stating that he had been kidnapped and tortured by Saudis and Americans and in the other he claimed that he was in America of his own free will. The Iranian government accused the US of kidnapping the scientist.

In July 2010, Shahram Amiri reappeared in Washington D.C. at the Embassy of Pakistan, seeking help to return to Tehran. Not long after that appearance, he spoke at a press conference in Tehran telling journalists he had been kidnapped, tortured and bribed to cooperate with the CIA, but had refused. After his return to Iran, American sources confirmed he arrived in, or was taken to, the United States with the help of the CIA, but insisted he had not been taken or kept against his will. 

 

Majid Shahriari

On November 29, 2010 motorcyclists attacked two separate scientists by attaching bombs to their cars as they drove to work. In two separate incidents, Majid Shahriari was killed and Fereydoon Abbasi was injured. Dr Shahriari was a member of the nuclear engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Iranian news programs described Shahriari as one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes.

 

Daryoush Rezaei

On July 23, 2011 a physicist at a Tehran university named Daryoush Rezaei was killed outside his house when motorcyclists rode up and shot him. It was reported by the government that the researcher was linked to Iran's nuclear program, but the government almost immediately retracted and denied that report.

 

Destruction of Missile Base

On November 12, 2011 a large blast occurred at the Iranian Alghadir missile base at Bid Ganeh. The blast was so powerful that it rattled windows 30 miles away in Tehran. Witnesses said it sounded like a huge bomb had been dropped. Seventeen members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards were killed, among them a man described his peers as the "architect" of the country's missile program, Major General Hassan Moghaddam.

General Moghaddam's obituary declared him to be one of the chief players in the Iranian missile program and stated that "since 1984 he pioneered the IRGC's ground to ground missile system ... the work which has so frightened the world's imperialist powers and the Zionist regime today." The official cause of the blast was an accident due to a propulsion test.

The pictures below were taken by a satellite on September 11, 2011 showing the base intact, and a picture dated November 22, 2011 showing the damage from the blast.

 

Operation Red Coalition

On October 11,  2011 US officials alleged that two Iranian nationals named Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri were conspiring with Iranian forces to assassinate Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in the United States. The two men were charged in federal court in New York with planning to use plastic explosives to blow up a restaurant that the ambassador frequented and then possibly blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassy in Washington.

 

US Sentinel Drone

In December of 2011, the US admitted to losing a Sentinel drone over Afghanistan. About a week later, the government of Iran claimed to have brought the drone down and to have it in their possession. On December 9, 2011 the Iranian government showed videos of the drone in one of its hangers. The drone had damage consistent with falling on its belly, consistent with Iranian claims that they were able to bring the vehicle down without shooting it. The US military claimed that the vehicle had ran out of fuel and fell to the ground after a malfunction. President Obama asked the Iranian government to return the drone to the US.

 

Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan

On January 10, 2012 a motorcyclist placed a magnetic bomb on the car of 32 year old Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and then rode away and detonated it. The blast immediately killed Roshan and his driver died later that day at the hospital. Rosham was deputy director for commercial affairs at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province and a graduate of Iran's Oil Industry University. Some Iranian lawmakers and officials openly blamed US and Israeli forces for the blast although an Iranian citizen was captured and confessed to the bombing according to official statements.

 

Significant Votes 

House Votes on Iran
YearRoll CallLegislation
2009975Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009
2010394Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act
  

Senate Votes on Iran
YearRoll CallLegislation
2007349Designating Revolutionary Guard as Terrorists
2010199Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009

 

Additional Legislation

Each year, there are numerous bills introduced that are not voted on in the House or Senate. These bills may be sponsored by numerous people and a representative's co-sponsorship of that legislation gives insight into that person's viewpoints.

Senate Bills on Iran
SessionBill NumberCo-SponsorsBill Title
112S Res 38667Free and Fair Elections in Iran
111S 180No Entry for Supporters of the Iranian Regime Act of 2010
111S 90861Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act
111S 90861A bill to amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran.
111S 300821Iran Democratic Transition Act of 2010
111S 302214Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act
111S Res 3869A resolution condemning the Government of Iran relating to human rights abuses.
110S 97072Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007
110S Res 58051Iran - Nuclear Weapons
110S 143037Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007
110S Res 44914Iran and Ahmadinejad Comments
110S Res 35613Military Action in Iran
110S J Res 230Iran and a First Strike
110S Res 44914Condemning President Mahmouds Statements
109S 33362Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2005
109S Res 29215Condemning Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Comments
109S Con Res 769Condemning Iranian Efforts to get Nuclear Weapons
109S 39719Iran Freedom Support Act
109S 26572Iran Sanctions Extension Act of 2006
109S 17371Iranian Nuclear Trade Prohibition Act of 2005
109S Con res 7832Iran Nuclear Violations
105S 131184Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 1997
105S 131184Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 1997
104S 122844Iran Oil Sanctions Act of 1995
 

House Bills on Iran
SessionBill NumberCo-SponsorsBill Title
111H R 1327178Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009
111H R 1208104Iran Threat Reduction Act of 2009
111H R 2194101Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009
111H Res 17572Condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority
111H Res 155346Israel and Iran
111H R 464946Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act
111H R 2194101Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009
110H R 1400328Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007
110H Con Res 362266Iran and Nuclear Weapons
110H Con Res 21105Ahmadinejad and the Destruction of Israel
110H R 135779Investments in Iran
110H J Res 1466The Use of Military Force in Iran
110H Con Res 3359No Action in Iran without Congressional Approval
110H R 95757Iran Sanctions
110H R 288055Iran Sanctions Enhancement Act of 2007
109H R 282359Iran Freedom Support Act

[1] Website: ISIS Article: Satellite Image Showing Damage from November 12, 2011 Blast at Military Base in Iran Author: NA Accessed on: 12/15/2011

[2] Website: The Guardian Article: Iranian missile architect dies in blast. But was explosion a Mossad mission? Author: Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan Accessed on: 12/15/2011

[3] Website: CNN Article: Report: Iran nuclear scientist killed in car bomb blast Author: NA Accessed on: 02/21/2012

[4] Website: BBC Article: Iran: Scientist shot dead in Tehran Author: NA Accessed on: 02/21/2012

[5] Website: BBC Article: Iranian nuclear scientist killed in motorbike attack Author: NA Accessed on: 02/21/2012

[6] Website: Fox News Article: Scientists Who Helped Iran With Nuke Plant Died in Russian Plane Crash Author: NA Accessed on: 02/21/2012

[7] Website: The Guardian Article: Allegations fly over Iranian scientist's assassination Author: Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan Accessed on: 02/21/2012

[8] Website: Wikipedia Article: Shahram Amiri Author: NA Accessed on: 02/21/2012

[9] Website: Wikipedia Article: 2011 alleged Iran assassination plot Author: NA Accessed on: 02/21/2012

[10] Website: Fox News Article: U.S. Ties Iran to Assassination Plot Against Saudi Diplomat on U.S. Soil Author: AP Accessed on: 02/21/2012