The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued an amendment to the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR), in furtherance of the US President’s May 8, 2018 decision to cease the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This regulatory amendment, as explained on the official website of the Treasury, is currently available for public inspection with the Federal Register and will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register on Monday, November 5, 2018. OFAC plans to issue additional guidance related to the snapback of Iran sanctions on that day.
With this move, the US government is reimposing economic and trade sanctions on Iran, starting at midnight on Sunday. The move is intended to change the country’s politics through economic pressure on its ability to sell oil. The sanctions will also apply to countries that have economic and finacial dwalings with the Islamic Republic.
However, as report US media, the Trump administration announced on Friday that it was exempting eight countries from bruising sanctions that the United States was reimposing against Iran, undercutting its pledge to economically punish Tehran’s regional aggressions while widening a profound rift with European allies.
Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, did not identify the eight countries that were being granted six-month waivers, but a senior official confirmed that they include India, South Korea, Japan and China — among the world’s largest importers of Iranian oil.
Mr. Pompeo said the European Union, which recently announced the creation of an economic channel to continue financial dealings with Iran, was not among those receiving waivers.
The sanctions were promised in May, when President Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from a 2015 deal with world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
One of the most notable exemptions is Azerbaijan.
The document explicitly states:
‘Paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section shall not apply with respect to any person for conducting or facilitating a transaction involving a project —
(i) For the development of natural gas and the construction and operation of a pipeline to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and Europe;
(ii) That provides to Turkey and countries in Europe energy security and energy independence from the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Iran;
and (iii) That was initiated before August 10, 2012 pursuant to a production-sharing agreement, or an ancillary agreement necessary to further a production-sharing agreement, entered into with, or a license granted by, the government of a country other than Iran before August 10, 2012.’
The document further stipulates:
‘Although it is not named in the section, section 10 of E.O. 13846 refers to the Shah Deniz natural gas field in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian Sea and related pipeline projects to bring the gas from Azerbaijan to Europe and Turkey.’