US designates Pakistani militant group Hizbul Mujahideen

The US Department of State has designated the Pakistani militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and Specially Designated Global Terrorist.  Formed in 1989, HM is said to be one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in the region and has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosive attack in Jammu and Kashmir which injured 17 people.

The details of the listing are here.

Iran bans 2 footballers for playing against Israeli team

Iran has banned 2 members of its national football team, including its captain for life, after they played in a match between their Greek club Panionios and Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv.  Iran has said their participation in the game violated a longstanding unwritten rule that Iranian sportspeople should not compete against their Israeli counterparts.

In 2013, the United States published Iran General Licence F, which authorises US sportspeople to participate in competitions involving Iran.

Iran to restart nuclear programme if US imposes sanctions

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran will restart its nuclear programme “within hours” if the US imposes new sanctions on Iran.  Since the JCPOA came into force at the start of 2016, Iran has conducted several ballistic missile tests.  The US believes that the tests violate UN sanctions, which prohibit “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons”. Iran has said that any new sanctions breach the JCPOA and that its ballistic missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

The US designated 14 more Iranian people and entities in July for (among other things) involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile programme (see previous blog).

US designates Mexican professional footballer in largest single narcotics listing

The US has sanctioned alleged Mexican narcotics kingpin Raul Flores Hernandez and his trafficking network.  Among those designated are Mexican professional footballer Rafael Marquez, Mexican singer Julion Alvarez, and 19 other people and 42 entities across a range of industries in the country.

The US Treasury’s press release states that this is the largest single Kingpin Act action against a Mexican drug cartel, and that it follows a multi-year joint investigation involving several US agencies and the government of Mexico. The details of the listings are here.

EU adds another vessel to its Libya sanctions

The EU has added the vessel Lynn S to its sanctions on Libya, which among other things prohibit vessels from loading, transporting, or discharging crude oil from Libya and ban them from accessing EU ports.  It has also amended the entry for the vessel Capricorn, which it listed earlier this week, to include its IMO number (see previous blog).

See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1456 amending Council Regulation (EU) 2016/44 and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1458 implementing Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1333.

EU implements new UN DPRK listings

The EU has implemented the UN’s new designations on its sanctions on North Korea, which include the state-owned Foreign Trade Bank and individuals in N Korea’s financial sector (see previous blog).  The EU has yet to implement the other elements of the UN’s new sanctions on North Korea, such as prohibitions on North Korean coal and iron exports, but said in its press release that it would do so soon. See Implementing Regulation 2017/1457 amending Regulation 329/2007 and Implementing Decision 2017/1459 implementing Decision 2016/849. The EU’s notice is here.

US sanctions Venezuelan officials, including previous President’s brother

The US has added 9 people to its SDN List for being involved in organising or otherwise supporting the creation of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, a rival body to Venezuela’s parliament with the power to rewrite the country’s constitution (see previous blog). The US views the Constituent Assembly as illegitimate, and designed “to further entrench [President Maduro’s] dictatorship”.

Among those designated are Adan Chavez, a high ranking official in the Constituent Assembly and brother of deceased former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and Bladimir Lugo Armas, a Commander in Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard who is said to have been responsible for violence against Venezuelan parliamentarians. The US Treasury’s press release is here, and details of Nicolas Maduro’s listing are here.

New UN sanctions on N Korea

The UN Security Council has imposed new sanctions on North Korea, in response to its most recent ballistic missile launches in July. The new resolution is here. These measures:

  1. prohibit North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood.
  2. prevent Member States from increasing the total number of work authorisations for North Koreans without approval from the Security Council committee, and the opening of new joint ventures or expansion of existing joint ventures with North Korean firms or people.
  3. add 9 people and 4 entities to the UN travel ban and asset freeze.
  4. ask INTERPOL to issue special notices which alert national law enforcement authorities that particular sanctions apply to designated people and entities. They were first introduced to support the UN’s anti-terrorism sanctions, but have since been expanded to several other regimes including DRC, CAR, Sudan, and North Korea.