Punishment by the United States of Foreign Enterprises for Violating the Iranian Ban: Rare Detainees

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 Punishment by the United States of Foreign Enterprises for Violating the Iranian Ban: Rare Detainees


On December 14, Yantai Jerry Oil announced that it had reached a settlement agreement with relevant U.S. departments and would pay a fine of more than $34.0 million to the U.S.side.

On the whole, however, the U.S. government usually fines domestic and foreign enterprises for violating sanctions against Iraq, and criminal measures are very rare. According to Jeffrey D. Sachs, an economist at Columbia University, it is a common practice for the U.S. government to punish foreign enterprises through economic means such as fines. Criminal means are generally considered only when the executives of the target enterprises are involved in personal charges such as embezzlement of public funds or corruption. So far, the United States has not used criminal means such as arrest and detention to punish allied enterprises violating sanctions against Iraq.

The Globe and Mail, the mainstream Canadian media, recently published a commentary entitled The United States is the real threat to the international rule of law, pointing out that the United States has a hypocritical attitude towards the punishment of Chinese-funded enterprises beyond its previous practice. Commentaries said that the USs attempt to overwhelm other countries was pushing the world to disaster.

BNP Paribas fined full-year profits

In May this year, President Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement; on August 6, the United States resumed large-scale sanctions against Iran. Since then, enterprises of all countries that choose to continue to cooperate with Iranian enterprises will have to face the threat of punishment from the US Treasury and Justice Departments. Recently, with more and more foreign companies becoming the focus of the U.S. governments attention, the way in which the U.S. punishment is implemented has also become the focus of public opinion discussion.

For other countries, any foreign individual, enterprise or institution that deals with sanctioned industries, institutions and individuals with Iran may be subject to U.S. sanctions. Zou Zhiqiang, a researcher at the Middle East Research Institute of Shanghai Foreign Studies University, told Penglang News, At present, fines are the most common form of punishment, with varying amounts. They may also face the risk of losing the U.S. market.

Some Western media and public opinion voices also pointed out that the sanctions imposed by the United States on foreign enterprises involved in Iraq are mainly fines or other economic means, and less criminal means such as arresting or detaining members of target companies. It is not difficult to find this characteristic by sorting out the punishment records of the United States to its allied companies in recent years.

BNP Parisbas is a representative of Iraqi-related enterprises subject to U.S. sanctions. The high amount of fines and the stringent punishment have set a record for the United States to sanction allied enterprises over Iran. Nearly $9 billion in fines and 13 executives were forced to leave under pressure, exposing American-style extraterritorial hegemony to the world.

BNP Paribas, Frances largest bank, has been accused by the United States of using the United States financial system to transfer funds from 2004 to 2012 for Sudan, Iran and Cuba. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, BNP Paribas has transferred more than $500 million to an Iranian energy company and more than $1.7 billion to Cuba.

As a result, BNP Paribas has been tightly seized by the U.S. Department of Justice and has been unable to breathe for years. On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that BNP Paribas had agreed to plead guilty and paid a fine of about $8.97 billion to the United States.

In fact, in order to minimize the penalties imposed on BNP Paribas, the French government has done its utmost. The President of the Bank of France, the Minister of Finance, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and even the Prime Minister and the President of France have appealed to the United States to refrain from imposing excessive penalties. However, the fine of $8.97 billion exceeded BNP Paribasannual earnings.

Once the punishment decision of the United States was announced, it immediately caused a great disturbance in France, which always attached importance to independence and autonomy. Le Monde, France, published in November 2014, said that under international law, the United States had no right to sanction foreign banks by such extraterritorial means, accusing the United States of putting the protection of its sovereignty above the principles of international law. Another legal media, LExpress, said that BNP Paribass actions were in full compliance with French law and that the United States had issued such a sky-high ticket to kill chickens and monkeys and to deter other alliesenterprises through lessons learned from French companies with obvious autonomous tendencies.

European banks and businesses seek government and EU protection

After the signing of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA), European banks and enterprises did not need to be afraid of the risk of sanctions imposed by the United States. However, with the resumption of sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran in August this year, European enterprises, once again feeling threatened, urged their governments and the European Union to provide some protection.

The New York Times reported that before the U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments tough attitude, the United States and its allies had to balance the two evils with the right to the least. They chose to give in to the dilemma of abandoning the U.S. market, withstanding huge fines and sticking to the Iranian market.

In August this year, French oil giant Dodar Group officially withdrew from the South Pals oil field project in southern Iran. Airbus, headquartered in Bordeaux, France, said in an e-mail interview with the surging news that Airbus would develop next steps in line with sanctions decisions and export controls.

The EU has been making high-profile efforts to establish a new international payment system with the aim of circumventing U.S. sanctions. Zou Zhiqiang said, From a realistic point of view, it is very difficult to completely block Irans economic, trade and financial ties with the outside world - some countries in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Gulf around Iran have close economic ties with Iran, and can find some indirect and complex transit ways to evade U.S. sanctions.

Germanys Deutsche Bank was not immune. According to the New York Times, as early as 2012, the US authorities began investigating whether Deutsche Bank was suspected of laundering money for Iranian and Sudanese companies under US sanctions. The lengthy investigation lasted three years. In early November 2015, the New York State Financial Services Agency announced that Deutsche Bank had violated New York State law by providing settlement services to companies targeted by sanctions such as Iran and Libya, and therefore had to pay a fine of $258 million. Unlike neighbouring Frances struggle, Deutsche Bank quickly lowered its head - not only paid the fine in full, but also fired six of its current executives.

In addition to foreign companies, the U.S. regulatory sanctions stick to the U.S. domestic banking giants. In 2011, JP Morgan had to pay a fine of up to $88 million on suspicion of violating U.S. sanctions against Cuba and Iran in Sudan. But thats where the punishment ends. It doesnt involve the arrest and accusation of individuals.

Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Bank of Paris are not the only large multinationals suspected of violating U.S. sanctions. Reuters has produced a list of multinational financial institutions that have been punished by the United States for violating sanctions in recent years. In addition to JP Morgan and Bank of Paris, the shot financial institutions include Brazilian banks, Moscow banks, HSBC and Societe Generale. Reuters reports show that all of the above-mentioned banks are subject to heavy fines or dismissal of current employees.

There is no precedent for arresting senior executives of allied enterprises

Generally speaking, however, the U.S. government fines domestic and foreign enterprises for violating sanctions against Iraq. Criminal measures are very rare. Therefore, executives and employees of foreign enterprises usually do not worry about restricting personal freedom or assuming criminal responsibility under U.S. law.

According to Jeffrey D. Sachs, an economist at Columbia University, it is a common practice for the U.S. government to punish foreign enterprises through economic means such as fines. Criminal means are generally considered only when the executives of the target enterprises are involved in personal charges such as embezzlement of public funds or corruption. So far, the United States has not used criminal means such as arrest and detention to punish allied enterprises violating sanctions against Iraq. In all cases in which the United States punishes large Western allies, no CEO or CFO of a company has been arrested or restricted by the United States, whether or not it is on U.S. soil. If we want to assume legal responsibility, it is always the enterprise as a whole, not an individual in the enterprise. Jeffrey D. Sachs wrote in this article. Source: Wang Zheng_N7526

According to Jeffrey D. Sachs, an economist at Columbia University, it is a common practice for the U.S. government to punish foreign enterprises through economic means such as fines. Criminal means are generally considered only when the executives of the target enterprises are involved in personal charges such as embezzlement of public funds or corruption. So far, the United States has not used criminal means such as arrest and detention to punish allied enterprises violating sanctions against Iraq.

In all cases in which the United States punishes large Western allies, no CEO or CFO of a company has been arrested or restricted by the United States, whether or not it is on U.S. soil. If we want to assume legal responsibility, it is always the enterprise as a whole, not an individual in the enterprise. Jeffrey D. Sachs wrote in this article.