Export Compliance

U.S. adds eight Iranian senior leaders to denied parties lists amid escalating tensions

The United States has added eight senior Iranian leaders to denied parties screening lists, as part of what it calls “intensified sanctions on Iran,” aimed at countering Tehran’s alleged support for terrorism and its bid to develop nuclear weapons.

This move is the latest in ongoing sanctions that the United States has imposed on Iran over the last few years, since the former pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear multilateral treaty in May 2018.

Eight Iranian officials sanctioned

Of the eight Iranian leaders who have been added to U.S. denied parties lists, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, is the most senior. According to the State Department press release, the seven other high-ranking Iranian leaders are Gholamreza Soleimani, Mohsen Rezai, Ali Asghar Hejazi, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, Ali Abdollahi, and Mohsen Qomi.

Other sanctions and enforcement

The U.S. also placed sanctions on entities operating in Iran’s metal industry, owing to the Iranian regime allegedly funneling revenue from its metals industry to fund terrorism. As part of this effort, the Department of State is sanctioning Pamchel Trading (Beijing) Co., Ltd. for transferring 29,000 metric tons of steel from an Iranian firm that has been identified as a Specially Designated Global terrorist. As well, the Department of Treasury has sanctioned an additional 17 entities and three vessels for continuing to transact with Iran’s metals industry.

Finally, the statement notes that the U.S. intends to impose further sanctions on more sectors of the Iranian economy, including construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining, to target more revenue streams for the Iranian regime.

The importance of staying up-to-date

This news demonstrates, yet again, the ever-changing nature of export compliance regulations and denied party screening lists. This is something most recently discussed in our article looking back at 2019 and ahead at 2020. As mentioned, to remain compliant, organizations should always try to ensure they are screening against the most up-to-date lists available. As this case shows, an entity not on a list one day can well be on it just a day later. Additionally, a keen eye will be necessary, not just to get and remain compliant, but also to keep pace with ongoing changes in regulations and constant updates to denied party screening watchlists.