Industry News: V9N2

Iran May Have Violated UN Arms Embargo

The United Nations has expressed concern that Iran may have violated an arms embargo by providing weapons to the Lebanese and the Shi’ite militia group, Hezbollah.

These concerns are laid out in a forthcoming report from the UN, due to be discussed within the UN Security Council later this month.

It also cites an accusation by France that an arms shipment, seized by the European country in March 2016, was likely headed from Iran to Somalia or Yemen.

The report was submitted by outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on December 30, 2016, just two days before his successor Antonio Guterres was due to take over.

Ban wrote in the report: “In a televised speech broadcast by Al-Manar TV on 24 June 2016, Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, stated that the budget of Hezbollah, its salaries, expenses, weapons and missiles all came from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He noted that he was deeply concerned by that revelation.

Most UN sanctions were lifted following the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran, Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia, the United States and the European Union. However, the arms embargo is not part of the nuclear agreement and, therefore, is still in place.

When the Iranian government was asked to clarify the issue, the Iranian mission to the UN said:

“Measures undertaken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in combating terrorism and violent extremism in the region have been consistent with its national security interests and international commitments.”

The Iranian government did not deny violating the arms embargo, choosing instead to portray their illegal weapons’ shipments as a method of combating terrorism.

Even if Iran were not labelled the premier exporter of terrorism by the US State Department, it seems unlikely that the Iranian government intended to combat terrorism by arming a terrorist group.

Daniel Garcia May Now Open a Bank Account

For almost 10 years, the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) has listed an individual named “Daniel Garcia” on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list. Individuals named within the list are typically terrorists, or drug traffickers. Being named to the list typically means that the assets of the named individual are blocked, and US persons are prohibited from dealing with the named party.

Enter Daniel Garcia. The name is incredibly common, resulting in individuals who share the name routinely being denied financial services. It’s not that all persons named Daniel Garcia are bad–there’s probably only one “bad” Daniel Garcia–but all Daniel Garcias share the same punishment.

On January 6, 2017, OFAC announced that it was removing Daniel Garcia from the SDN list. The announcement does not provide any reason for the removal or provide any explanation as to why the name was listed in the first place. Nevertheless, all those named Daniel Garcia within the US may once again apply for car loans and open bank accounts.

Proposed State Department Regulations on Voluntary Disclosures

On November 28, 2016, the US State Department published a notice for comments regarding the implementation of Form DS-7787–the electronic form that would be used for the submission of a voluntary disclosure. Comments were due by December 28, 2016; submission of comments will have closed by the time this article goes to print.

Under the proposed regulations, the voluntary disclosure would need to be reported within 72 hours of discovery, regardless of whether all of the facts and circumstances are known at the time. The new disclosure rules would also require the names and addresses of all parties involved and allow for the submission of a “third-party violation,” whereby an individual could report a violation for which it was not responsible. As the rules have not been finalized, look for an update on this subject in a future issue.

DOD Proposed Rule Would Disqualify Contractors with Export Control Violations

In order to receive technical data associated with DoD procurements, government contractors must (1) complete a DD 2354 Military Critical Technology Agreement with the US-Canada Joint Certification Office, (2) mark and treat export-controlled information associated with DoD programs in accordance with various DoD directives, and (3) certify their compliance with US-export control laws.

The proposed rule on “Withholding of Unclassified Technical Data and Technology from the Public Disclosure” states that when the DoD receives “substantial and credible information” that a qualified US contractor has violated US export controls, violated its certification, made a certification in bad faith and/or omitted or misstated a material fact, DoD would temporarily revoke the contractor’s ability to access export-controlled technical data and technology. The temporary revocation becomes a disqualification unless the contractor rebuts the “substantial and credible information” underlying the revocation within 20 days.

There are a number of troubling issues within the proposed language; however, the comment period for this proposal will have also closed prior to this article going to print. Should a final rule be published by DoD, look for this subject in a future issue.