On 30 December 2014, the US Treasury Department blocked the property of 9 individuals and entities for supplying US currency to Iran or for providing technology services to Iran in support of censorship or activities of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”). It also made 30 additions to its list of vessels controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (“IRISL”).
The Treasury Department invoked E.O. 13622 to designate six individuals and one entity, Belfast General Trading LLC of Dubai, UAE, for assisting the Government of Iran in acquiring US currency. Five of the designated individuals contracted with Iran, or worked with individuals who contracted with Iran, to enable Iran to obtain US notes. According to the US government, these persons together delivered hundreds of millions of US dollars in physical currency to the Iranian government. The sixth individual is an official of Asia Bank of Moscow, Russia, who allegedly oversaw an operation by Asia Bank to deliver $10 million in physical US currency to the Government of Iran. Asia Bank itself was previously designated under E.O. 13622 in August 2014.
At the same time, the Treasury Department blocked the property of Douran Software Technologies under E.O. 13628, which authorises sanctions on persons that support censorship in Iran since the June 2009 Iranian elections, stating that the company acted on behalf of an Iranian entity set up to filter access to web sites and is one of the main vendors for an Iranian government project to monitor computer activity. Abyssec, an Iranian company, was blocked pursuant to E.O. 13553 for providing support to the IRGC by assisting the IRGC with hacking projects involving web applications and web server services.
Additionally, as part of its on-going efforts to identify vessels owned or operated by IRISL, the Treasury Department added 30 additional vessels to its Specially Designated Nationals list. IRISL’s property has long been blocked under E.O. 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.