Iranian Sanctions and the JCPOA: Updates in 2015 & Beyond
The US government has imposed economic sanctions in one form or another on Iran since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The most recent round of sanctions originated in 2006 when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1696, imposed sanctions after Iran refused to stop its uranium enrichment program. Recently however, a deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was brokered among Iran, the US, and five other major world powers that may ultimately end certain sanctions on Iran and allow international nuclear inspectors back in the country. The United Nations followed suit shortly thereafter with its own resolution to lift the sanctions.
While the JCPOA could potentially represent a tectonic shift in US – Iran diplomatic relations, many questions surrounding its implementation remain. The Knowledge Group has assembled a panel of key thought leaders and practitioners to provide a robust and insightful discussion of the JCPOA and how it may affect Iran, the US, and its international counterparts in 2015 and beyond.
Key topics to be discussed will include:
- An overview of prohibitions and restrictions imposed under current U.S. and EU sanctions vis-à-vis Iran.
- An overview of recent enforcement actions for violations of the Iran sanctions.
- An overview of the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed upon by Iran, the United States and other P5+1 countries on July 14th as it relates to the easing of U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran, the extent to which such sanctions will potentially be removed, and the conditions and timeline for the implementation of such provisions.
- Assuming the provisions of the JCPOA with respect to the easing of U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran are in fact implemented, and Iran complies with its obligations, what will be the scope of permissible commercial activities in or relating to Iran by U.S. Persons and their foreign subsidiaries or affiliates and by their EU competitors?
- Until such time when the provisions of the JCPOA with respect to the easing of U.S. sanctions on Iran are in fact implemented, what will be the scope of permissible activities by U.S. Persons and their foreign subsidiaries or affiliates (as well as their EU competitors) who may be interested in exploring or pursuing commercial opportunities in or related to Iran?
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
- Key terms of JCPOA
- Timeline and trigger events/conditions (both for JCPOA itself, and parallel local actions in US, Iran, EU)
- Implementation of JCPOA
- Key Provisions of Sanctions Relief
- Implementation of Sanctions Relief under JCPOA (particularly US domestic implementation)
- Impact on JPOA-permissible activities, if any
- Impact on US comprehensive sanctions, if any
- Guidance from U.S. regulators
Holman Fenwick Willan LLP
- Overview of the means by which the EU imposes and enforces sanctions
- the legal process of Decisions, Regulations etc.
- the role of national legislation and competent authorities
- tension between Member States
- Overview of the current restrictions
- scope of application
- asset freeze
- prohibited goods and services
- other prohibitions
- Challenges to sanctions listings before the EU courts
- EU sanctions relief under the JPOA
- What is permitted prior to Implementation Day?
- What changes between Implementation Day and Transition Day?
- What is not permitted after Transition Day?
Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, LLP
- Permissible Activities under Current US Sanctions regime
- Generally Permissible Activities
- Internal Studies & Planning
- Exchange of Information & Informational Materials
- Protection of Intellectual Property
- Discussing Business Opportunities (but no agreements, including executory contracts)
- Permissible Activities Pursuant to OFAC General Licenses
- Exports of Food, Medicine & Basic Medical Supplies
- Exports of Medical Devices
- Exports of Personal Communication Devices & Software
- Permissible U.S. Person Activities Pursuant to JCPOA (this subject will be touched on in Part but I'll add my interpretation on how these provisions of the JCPOA may be implemented)
- Import of Foods & Carpets (general or specific license)
- Export of Commercial Aircraft & Parts (general or specific license)
- Engagement of non-US subsidiaries of US Persons in Activities consistent with JCPOA (general or specific license; U.S. Person facilitation?)
- Permissible Activities Pursuant to Specific Licenses
- Generally Permissible Activities
Stewart and Stewart
- Overview of current U.S. sanctions against Iran:
- Primary sanctions – U.S. nexus; prohibit virtually all trade and transactions with Iran, directly or indirectly, by U.S. persons, as well as foreign-incorporated subsidiaries of US companies and 50/50 U.S. joint ventures
- Secondary sanctions – Apply to activities of non-US persons, including certain activities in the Iranian energy, automotive, financial services, shipbuilding, and shipping sectors, even where there is no U.S. nexus
- Targeted sanctions – Block assets and property and prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with designated persons on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) for various purposes
- Under the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (ITRA), certain Iran- and SDN-related activities must be disclosed by “issuers” —including both U.S. and non-U.S. companies — that are required to file annual and quarterly reports with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as “affiliates” of issuers, even if they may not be prohibited by primary or secondary U.S. sanctions against Iran.
- The only Iran-related sanctions relief currently in effect are certain secondary sanctions and the availability of specific licenses from OFAC for the provision of certain safety-of-flight services and/or parts/components for certain Iranian commercial passenger aircraft for US companies and non-US entities owned or controlled by US persons, which took effect on January 20, 2014 pursuant to the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) reached on November 24, 2013.
- Despite the JCPOA, the broad U.S. sanctions based on Iran’s support for terrorism, human rights abuses, etc. and U.S. export controls will remain in effect and continue to be enforced.
- Even as other countries ease or lift sanctions under the JCPOA, the U.S. government has stressed that it will continue to aggressively enforce the sanctions against Iran that remain in effect. In 2015, the U.S. government has taken significant enforcement actions against both U.S. and non-U.S. individuals and entities for violating Iranian sanctions.
- A few examples:
- In March, Commerzbank AG and its U.S. branch, Commerzbank AG New York Branch agreed to a $258,660,796 settlement with OFAC for sanctions violations, part of a total $1.45 billion settlement, and was subject to a False Claims Act case.
- On March 25, the Department of Justice announced that Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Limited agreed to enter a guilty plea and to pay a $232,708,356 penalty to the United States for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by willfully facilitating illegal transactions and engaging in trade with Iran and Sudan.
- A federal indictment unsealed in April indicated that five people were charged with illegally exporting to Iran $24 million worth of commodities, including microelectronics frequently used in surface-to-air and cruise missiles.
- BNP Paribas was sentenced to a five-year term of probation and ordered to forfeit $8,833,600,000 to the United States and to pay a $140,000,000 fine for various sanctions violations on May 1.
- A few examples:
Who Should Attend:
- Attorneys with Related Practice Areas
- Multinational Companies (Public and Private)
- Export Controls Vice Presidents, Directors and Managers
- Trade Compliance Administrators and Managers
- International Trade Specialists
- Regulatory and Policy Managers
- Other Related/Interested Professionals
Kara Bombach assists companies in numerous industries to lawfully export goods, technology and services around the globe. Her international trade practice focuses on compliance with anti-corruption and anti-bribery measures (U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and OECD Convention), export control laws (EAR and ITAR), anti-boycott laws, and special sanctions (embargoes) maintained by the U.S. government (OFAC and other agencies) against various countries (including Iran, Cuba and Sudan), entities and individuals. Ms. Bombach regularly represents clients in foreign trade-related matters before U.S. government agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury and Defense. She places significant emphasis on helping clients achieve practical, workable solutions to complex regulatory situations.
Kara Bombach assists companies in numerous industries to lawfully export goods, technology and services around the globe. Her international trade …
Daniel advises traders, shipowners, freight forwarders, insurers and brokers on a host of regulatory and compliance issues, including international trade sanctions, export controls, customs and anti-corruption legislation. He advises on all aspects of the EU and UK sanctions legislation, and he is also familiar with the application of US sanctions to non-US persons.
Daniel initially specialised in advising clients on disputes arising from shipping, trade, insurance and logistics contracts, and he uses that experience and expertise to provide detailed, practical advice which is tailored to clients in the commodities, shipping, logistics and marine insurance sectors.
As well as advising clients on customs and regulatory compliance in particular circumstances, including ways to engage effectively with HMRC and other regulators, he also advises on compliance procedures and controls which traders, shipowners, logistics companies, banks, insurers and brokers should adopt to minimise risk.
Daniel advises traders, shipowners, freight forwarders, insurers and brokers on a host of regulatory and compliance issues, including international trade …
BABAK HOGHOOGHI’S practice is focused on U.S. economic sanctions laws, domestic and international commercial and business transactions, corporate law, energy and project finance, and construction law. Mr. Hoghooghi has represented Fortune 500 companies as well as small to medium size businesses on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters and has had extensive experience on matters relating to U.S. economic sanctions laws, particularly vis-a-vis Iran, involving compliance and enforcement issues and on a policy level.
Mr. Hoghooghi earned his law degree from Georgetown University in 1994, and practiced at the law firm of Skadden Arps for 12 years. Subsequently, he co-founded and was the first Executive Director of PAAIA, a non-profit educational and advocacy group representing Iranian Americans. Mr. Hoghooghi was also a founding Board Member and the first President of the Iranian American Bar Association, and a founding Trustee and Board Member of the Iranian American Political Action Committee. He is fluent in spoken and written Persian (Farsi).
BABAK HOGHOOGHI’S practice is focused on U.S. economic sanctions laws, domestic and international commercial and business transactions, corporate law, energy …
Jennifer M. Smith is an associate of the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart and a 2008 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. She has experience in a variety of international trade law matters, including antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings, customs, export controls, economic sanctions and embargoes, anti-boycott, trade adjustment assistance, and international and bilateral trade agreements and dispute resolution processes.
Ms. Smith has represented clients before numerous agencies, including the Department of Commerce, International Trade Commission, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Customs and Border Protection, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Department of Labor. She also assists clients in performing import and export compliance reviews and due diligence reviews for mergers and acquisitions transactions. Ms. Smith has also clerked at the United States Court of International Trade.
Jennifer M. Smith is an associate of the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart and a 2008 graduate of Georgetown …
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About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig is an international law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in 37 commercial and government centers across the United States and in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Greenberg Traurig provides integrated, business-focused legal services for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to innovative start-ups. The firm’s multidisciplinary teams include senior lawyers who have served as chief legal officers at major multinational companies and have spent years solving real-world problems in the business, political and legal arenas. Based in Washington, D.C., our Export Controls team advises and represents clients on the full range of international goods, software and technology transfer issues. We have broad experience providing export controls and related regulatory counsel to both U.S. and foreign businesses. Our industry-specific experience includes assisting companies in a wide range of industries. For additional information, please visitwww.gtlaw.com.
About Holman Fenwick Willan LLP
Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) is a global law firm advising businesses on all legal aspects of international commerce. With over 475 lawyers operating in 13 offices across 11 countries, we provide a global and seamless service 24 hours a day. The firm provides dispute resolution, transactional and regulatory services, and has significant experience of advising on complex multi-jurisdictional matters in the transport (including shipping, aviation, logistics and ports & terminals), energy, natural resources, commodities, construction and insurance sectors, where we are recognised as one of the elite global firms in those sectors.
About Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, LLP
Berliner Corcoran & Rowe is a boutique law firm focused on international law, export controls and sanctions, litigation, government contracts, corporate law as well as domestic and international business transactions. With offices in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, the firm serves an international, national, and local clientele including foreign governments, major corporations, small and emerging businesses, and individuals.
With over a hundred years of collective experience, the firm’s Export Controls and Sanctions Group is among the most experienced in the world. BCR represents clients in all aspects of U.S. export controls, embargoes, economic sanctions, and anti-boycott laws. It’s attorneys are well respected for their substantive knowledge and credibility by regulators and enforcement officials at all relevant agencies. The firm’s advocacy and expert advice has included testifying before Congress, advising the Executive Branch on export control regulations, legislation, and policy, and providing expert testimony in dispute resolution proceedings.
About Stewart and Stewart
Stewart and Stewart has provided advice and assistance to importers and exporters under US regulatory requirements and represented companies and workers facing problems at home or abroad from trade matters for more than 56 years.
With experience in international economic sanctions imposed under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations, the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as well as other export control and export licensing regimes, Stewart and Stewart helps U.S. and foreign firms seeking export licenses for products, services, and technologies; provides advice and representation regarding all aspects of voluntary disclosures and/or enforcement actions and litigation; designs and helps companies implement comprehensive compliance programs; provides advocacy in securing approvals and mitigating penalties for violations; and provides policy advice and monitoring services to ensure that our clients maintain compliance programs that fully address the current state of the law and government enforcement priorities.