Commerce Dept. Moves against Sale of Aircraft to Terrorist-Supporting Iranian Airline

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has acted against five parties who are attempting to sell two U.S. origin aircraft to Caspian Airlines, a designated Iranian airline. The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Caspian in 2014 for its support for terrorism, sanctions that are not being lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The action, called a “temporary denial order” (TDO), suspends the export privileges of Ribway Airlines Company Limited, Af-Aviation Limited, Andy Farmer, John Edward Meadows, and Jeffrey John James Ashfield Both aircraft are registered in Gambia and, according to the registration documents, are currently owned by Ribway. Meadows and Ashfield were both involved in brokering the sale of the aircraft to Caspian. On January 16, 2016, pursuant to commitments in the JCPOA, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a statement of licensing policy (SLP) under which U.S. and non-U.S. persons may request specific authorization from OFAC to engage in transactions for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran exclusively for civil passenger aviation end uses, so long as such transactions are consistent with U.S. law and do not involve any person on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). Caspian Airlines, which was designated for its support to the IRGC in August 29, 2014, remains on the SDN List and is ineligible for this favorable licensing policy. “U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran because of its support for terrorism remain in place notwithstanding the implementation of the JCPOA,” noted Commerce Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement David W. Mills. “BIS continues to actively investigate and enforce U.S. export controls on Iran, especially when those activities are in support of entities that have been designated for their support for terrorism,” he added.


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