Iran Watch Newsletter: November 2018

Welcome to the first Iran Watch newsletter. This issue covers the re-imposition, effective today, of broad U.S. sanctions on Iran, the response of businesses worldwide to this action, analysis of a global Iranian procurement network that used evasive techniques to obtain export controlled items, and more. Sign up for the newsletter here.

Iran Watch Publications


How Companies Around the World are Reversing Course on Iran Business 
In May 2018, the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran and the re-imposition of all U.S. sanctions lifted under the deal. The sanctions re-imposed on November 5 take aim at Iran's Central Bank, oil sales, and shipping sector. In advance of this deadline, most companies that had resumed trade and investment with Iran reversed course. Learn more about the latest sanctions and companies' responses here.

Illicit Procurement Network Used Firms in China, Portugal, and Turkey to Supply Iran 
A recently unsealed indictment provides detail on Iran’s use of deceptive practices to procure export controlled items with military applications from the U.S. and elsewhere. The conspiracy was directed by an Iranian-born Canadian, with help from co-conspirators in China, Portugal, and Turkey. Read more about the network here.

Iran Dodges FATF Countermeasures but Looming U.S. Sanctions May Achieve Similar Outcome 
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided again to delay the re-imposition of severe restrictions on financial dealings with Iran that were suspended in 2016, despite U.S. efforts to build a case for such action and Iran's failure to implement improvements to its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes. Read more about the decision here.

Iran Watch Library


Press Conference with Secretary of Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin on the Re-Imposition of U.S. Sanctions on Iran - November 5, 2018

U.S. Department of the Treasury: Frequently Asked Questions Related to the "Snap-back" of Iranian Sanctions - November 5, 2018

U.S. Department of the Treasury: U.S. Fully Re-Imposes Sanctions on the Iranian Regime as Part of Economic Pressure Campaign - November 5, 2018

Op-Ed by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: Renewed Sanctions Will Push Iran towards a Better Nuclear Deal - November 5, 2018

Iranian Foreign Ministry's Statement on the Re-imposition of U.S. Sanctions - November 3, 2018

U.S. Department of State: Briefing on Iran Sanctions with Secretary Pompeo - November 2, 2018

U.S. Department of State: Briefing with Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook - November 2, 2018

White House: Fact Sheet on the Reimposition of Sanctions on Iran - November 2, 2018

White House: Statement by the President Regarding the Reimposition of Nuclear-Related Sanctions on Iran - November 2, 2018

​Joint Statement of the EU/E3 on U.S. Sanctions on Iran - November 2, 2018

Entities of Proliferation Concern


Ghobad Ghasempour 
An Iranian-born Canadian citizen; involved in a conspiracy to illegally export U.S.-origin goods, services, and technology with both military and non-military applications to Iran without the required licenses. Arrested on March 28, 2017 in Blaine, Washington while entering the United States; pleaded guilty on May 4, 2018 to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully export U.S. goods and technology to Iran and to defraud the United States, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR); on August 20, 2018, sentenced to 42 months in prison.

Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG) 
A subordinate of Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). Responsible for the development and production of Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles. Produces the 200 kilometer range Fateh-110 missile and the 40-100 kilometer range Fajr rocket system (a North Korean-designed rocket produced under license); reportedly developed the Sejjil-2 solid-propellant two-stage ballistic missile under the supervision of Sanam Industrial Group (Department 140), which is a subsidiary of the Defense Industries Organization.

In the News


U.S. Judge Orders China’s ZTE to Two More Years of Monitoring  

U.S. federal judge Ed Kinkeade extended the term of a court-appointed monitor overseeing ZTE Corporation's compliance with U.S. export controls by two years, until 2022. The extension follows ZTE's breach of a settlement agreement regarding its violation of sanctions on Iran and North Korea. Judge Kinkeade also gave the monitor additional powers, bringing them in line with the authority of a second compliance monitor appointed by the Commerce Department under a separate settlement agreement with ZTE concluded in June.