Delayed US sanctions bill on Iran & Russia resumes passage through House

Earlier this month, the US Senate voted in favour of new sanctions on Iran and Russia set out in the Countering Iran’s Destabilising Activities Bill (see previous blog).  The US constitutional requirement that any bill that raises revenue for the government originates in the House delayed its passage, but the Senate has now sent a revised version to the House that resolves this issue. Because of the delay, the House will not vote on the bill until after the G20 summit on 7-9 July.

The bill mandates the imposition of sanctions against people and entities who materially contribute to Iran’s ballistic missile programme (the President currently has a discretion to impose those sanctions by executive order).  This provision includes the imposition of secondary sanctions, which apply to non-US people and entities. It also authorises the President to impose asset freezes and travel bans for human rights violations in Iran, and asset freezes on people and entities associated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps or anyone that knowingly contributes to the sale or transfer of arms or related services to Iran. In addition, it requires the President to account for any discrepancies between US and EU sanctions on Iran in a report to Congress every 180 days.

The bill would expand existing sanctions on Russian people involved in human rights abuses, impose sanctions on people conducting cyberattacks on behalf of the Russian government, supplying weapons to Syria’s government or who interfered in the 2016 US elections, and consolidate sanctions on Russia’s energy and financial sectors currently imposed by executive order. It would also restrict the US President’s ability to ease sanctions on Russia without Congressional approval.

This entry was posted in Iran, Russia, Ukraine, USA by Michael O'Kane. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael O'Kane

Michael O’Kane is a partner and Head of the Business Crime team at leading UK firm Peters & Peters. Described as ‘first-rate’ (Legal 500 2012), he “draws glowing praise from commentators” (Chambers 2013) for handling the international aspects of business crime, including sanctions, extradition and mutual legal assistance. Called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters he was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters(CPS). At CPS HQ he was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high profile fraud, terrorist and special interest criminal matters including the Stansted Airport Afghan hijacking and the prosecution of Paul Burrell (Princess Diana’s butler). Michael joined Peters & Peters in 2002. He became a partner in May 2004, and Head of the Business Crime team in May 2009. Since joining Peters & Peters, Michael has dealt with a wide range of business crime matters. He has particular expertise in international sanctions, criminal cartels, extradition, corruption, mutual legal assistance, and FSA investigations. Described as“ an influential practitioner in fraud and regulatory work, so much so that he is top of the referral lists of many City firms for independent advice for directors” (The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2009), he was recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative lawyers in the 2011 FT Innovative Lawyer Awards and included in the list of the UK's leading lawyers in 'The International Who's Who of Asset Recovery 2012. In 2012 he was the winner of the Global Competition Review Article of the Year. Michael regularly appears on television and radio to discuss his specialist areas and he is the author of the leading textbook on the UK Criminal Cartel Offence “The Law of Criminal Cartels-Practice and Procedure” (Oxford University Press 2009). Recent/Current Sanctions Work • Representing 109 individuals and 12 companies subject to designation by the European Council under targeted measures imposed against Zimbabwe. This is the largest and most complex collective challenge to a sanctions listing ever brought before the European Court. • Acting for a former Egyptian Minister and his UK resident wife, challenging their designation by the European Council of Ministers under targeted measures brought against former members of the Egyptian Government. • Advising a company accused in a UN investigation report to have breached UN sanctions imposed in relation to Somalia. • Advising a UK company in relation to ongoing commercial relationships with an Iranian company listed under both EU and UN sanctions. • Advising an individual in relation to a UK investigation for alleging breaching nuclear export controls.

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