“US Blocks Billions In Iran Assets in 2012”

The Wall Street Journal on May 29, 2013 released the following:

By Samuel Rubenfeld

“The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Tuesday in a report it issues annually that Washington’s sharply increased sanctions on Iran have led to nearly $2 billion dollars in blocked terrorist assets.

The Terrorist Assets Report, which is prepared by OFAC and delivered each year to key congressional committees, provides cumulative figures of the blocked assets of listed state sponsors of terrorism as well as entities or groups placed under sanctions.

More than $2.4 billion in assets relating to the U.S.-listed state sponsors of terrorism were identified by OFAC as of 2012, and sanctions blocked about $2.3 million of that.

Stepped-up sanctions on Iran led to the U.S. blocking more than $1.9 billion in Iranian assets as of Dec. 31, 2012, an increase of almost 3,500% over the $55.4 million figure posted at the end of 2011.

In a footnote, the report explains that “certain assets” noted in the 2011 edition of the report — but not included in the tabulation — were added to the main table under an executive order imposed in February 2012.

“These assets are subject to litigation and have been restrained by court order,” the footnote said.

The report said other countries listed as state sponsors of terrorism — Cuba, Sudan and Syria — had smaller changes in the amount of assets blocked by the U.S. An additional $8 million of Cuban assets were blocked during 2012, while only $4.7 million more Sudanese assets were blocked and $400,000 of Syrian assets were blocked.

Another $125 million in assets were listed separately as non-blocked assets of individuals and entities based in Iran and Syria, the report said.

OFAC also said in the report that the U.S. blocked a total of $21.8 million in assets tied to specially designated global terrorists, terrorists threatening the Middle East peace process and foreign terrorist organizations, up $717,000 since the end of 2011.

Some new groups’ names were added to the list in 2012, while a key one was removed.

Lashkar-E Jhangvi, Lashkar-Y Tayyiba and the Rajah Solaiman Movement were added to the Terrorist Assets Report because assets that appeared to link to them were blocked during the past year. Nevertheless, those assets seem negligible: The three groups combined had less than $12,000 blocked in 2012.

Meanwhile, Iranian group Mujahadeen-E Khalq, or MEK, was taken off the list for the 2012 report because the U.S. State Department removed them from its list of foreign terror organizations in September of that year.

The full Terrorist Assets Report is available here.”

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Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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