United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 29, 2020

§ 8513a.
Imposition of sanctions with respect to the financial sector of Iran
(a)
Findings
Congress makes the following findings:
(1)
On November 21, 2011, the Secretary of the Treasury issued a finding under section 5318A of title 31 that identified Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern.
(2)
In that finding, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury wrote, “The Central Bank of Iran, which regulates Iranian banks, has assisted designated Iranian banks by transferring billions of dollars to these banks in 2011. In mid-2011, the CBI transferred several billion dollars to
(3)
On November 22, 2011, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, wrote, “Treasury is calling out the entire Iranian banking sector, including the Central Bank of Iran, as posing terrorist financing, proliferation financing, and money laundering risks for the global financial system.”.
(b)
Designation of financial sector of Iran as of primary money laundering concern

The financial sector of Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran, is designated as a primary money laundering concern for purposes of section 5318A of title 31 because of the threat to government and financial institutions resulting from the illicit activities of the Government of Iran, including its pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for international terrorism, and efforts to deceive responsible financial institutions and evade sanctions.

(c)
Freezing of assets of Iranian financial institutions

The President shall, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of an Iranian financial institution if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(d)
Imposition of sanctions with respect to the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian financial institutions
(1)
In general
Except as specifically provided in this subsection, beginning on the date that is 60 days after December 31, 2011, the President—
(A)
shall prohibit the opening, and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintaining, in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that the President determines has knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction with the Central Bank of Iran or another Iranian financial institution designated by the Secretary of the Treasury for the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); and
(B)
may impose sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) with respect to the Central Bank of Iran.
(2)
Exception for sales of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices

The President may not impose sanctions under paragraph (1) with respect to any person for conducting or facilitating a transaction for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran.

(3)
Applicability of sanctions with respect to foreign central banks

Except as provided in paragraph (4), sanctions imposed under paragraph (1)(A) shall apply with respect to a central bank of a foreign country, only insofar as it engages in a financial transaction for the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products to or from Iran conducted or facilitated on or after that date that is 180 days after December 31, 2011.

(4)
Applicability of sanctions with respect to petroleum transactions
(A)
Report required

Not later than October 25, 2012, and the last Thursday of every other month thereafter, the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to Congress a report on the availability and price of petroleum and petroleum products produced in countries other than Iran in the 2-month period preceding the submission of the report.

(B)
Determination required

Not later than 90 days after December 31, 2011, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall make a determination, based on the reports required by subparagraph (A), of whether the price and supply of petroleum and petroleum products produced in countries other than Iran is sufficient to permit purchasers of petroleum and petroleum products from Iran to reduce significantly in volume their purchases from Iran.

(C)
Application of sanctions

Except as provided in subparagraph (D), sanctions imposed under paragraph (1)(A) shall apply with respect to a financial transaction conducted or facilitated by a foreign financial institution on or after the date that is 180 days after December 31, 2011, for the purchase of petroleum or petroleum products from Iran if the President determines pursuant to subparagraph (B) that there is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions.

(D)
Exception
(i)
In general
Sanctions imposed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to a financial transaction described in clause (ii) conducted or facilitated by a foreign financial institution if the President determines and reports to Congress, not later than 90 days after the date on which the President makes the determination required by subparagraph (B), and every 180 days thereafter, that the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution—
(I)
has significantly reduced reduced 1
1
 So in original.
its volume of crude oil purchases from Iran during the period beginning on the date on which the President submitted the last report with respect to the country under this subparagraph; or
(II)
in the case of a country that has previously received an exception under this subparagraph, has, after receiving the exception, reduced its crude oil purchases from Iran to zero.
(ii)
Financial transactions described
A financial transaction conducted or facilitated by a foreign financial institution is described in this clause if—
(I)
the financial transaction is only for trade in goods or services between the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution and Iran; and
(II)
any funds owed to Iran as a result of such trade are credited to an account located in the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution.
(5)
Waiver
The President may waive the imposition of sanctions under paragraph (1) for a period of not more than 120 days, and may renew that waiver for additional periods of not more than 120 days, if the President—
(A)
determines that such a waiver is in the national security interest of the United States; and
(B)
submits to Congress a report—
(i)
providing a justification for the waiver;
(ii)
certifying that the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution otherwise subject to the sanctions faced exceptional circumstances that prevented the country from being able to reduce significantly its purchases of petroleum and petroleum products from Iran; and
(iii)
that includes any concrete cooperation the President has received or expects to receive as a result of the waiver.
(e)
Multilateral diplomacy initiative
(1)
In general
The President shall—
(A)
carry out an initiative of multilateral diplomacy to persuade countries purchasing oil from Iran—
(i)
to limit the use by Iran of revenue from purchases of oil to purchases of non-luxury consumers goods from the country purchasing the oil; and
(ii)
to prohibit purchases by Iran of—
(I)
military or dual-use technology, including items—
(aa)
in the Annex to the Missile Technology Control Regime Guidelines;
(bb)
in the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, done at Paris January 13, 1993, and entered into force April 29, 1997 (commonly known as the “Chemical Weapons Convention”);
(cc)
in Part 1 or 2 of the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines; or
(dd)
on a control list of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies; or
(II)
any other item that could contribute to Iran’s conventional, nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons program; and
(B)
conduct outreach to petroleum-producing countries to encourage those countries to increase their output of crude oil to ensure there is a sufficient supply of crude oil from countries other than Iran and to minimize any impact on the price of oil resulting from the imposition of sanctions under this section.
(2)
Report required

Not later than 180 days after December 31, 2011, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the efforts of the President to carry out the initiative described in paragraph (1)(A) and conduct the outreach described in paragraph (1)(B) and the results of those efforts.

(f)
Form of reports

Each report submitted under this section shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex.

(g)
Implementation; penalties
(1)
Implementation

The President may exercise all authorities provided under sections 203 and 205 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702 and 1704) to carry out this section.

(2)
Penalties

The penalties provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) shall apply to a person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of this section or regulations prescribed under this section to the same extent that such penalties apply to a person that commits an unlawful act described in section 206(a) of that Act.

(h)
Definitions
In this section:
(1)
Account; correspondent account; payable-through account

The terms “account”, “correspondent account”, and “payable-through account” have the meanings given those terms in section 5318A of title 31.

(2)
Foreign financial institution

The term “foreign financial institution” has the meaning of that term as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to section 8513(i) of this title.

(3)
Significant reductions

The terms “reduce significantly”, “significant reduction”, and “significantly reduced”, with respect to purchases from Iran of petroleum and petroleum products, include a reduction in such purchases in terms of price or volume toward a complete cessation of such purchases.

(4)
United States person
The term “United States person” means—
(A)
a natural person who is a citizen or resident of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 1101(a) of title 8); and
(B)
an entity that is organized under the laws of the United States or a jurisdiction within the United States.
(i)
Termination

The provisions of this section shall terminate on the date that is 30 days after the date on which the President submits to Congress the certification described in section 8551(a) of this title.

(Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title XII, § 1245, Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1647; Pub. L. 112–158, title V, §§ 503(a)(1), (b)(1), 504(a), Aug. 10, 2012, 126 Stat. 1260, 1261; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title XII, § 1250, Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 2016.)
cite as: 22 USC 8513a