Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Friday, November 2, 2018


Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, stated today that all the Iran sanctions lifted by President Obama will be reimposed on November 5, including the "banking sector[s]."Any financial transactions open and pending on that date could subject an American financial institution to civil fines & penalties. Every effort should be made to meet that deadline, in all matters involving Iran and its nationals.

Compliance officers should also remember that the test regarding whether US banks would be held strictly liable for having actual knowledge of a specific item of information about an Iranian national or company is whether the item is "knowable," is now coming back to haunt them. This means that if there is any open source with that information, that any entity in the US financial structure is liable if it does not have the information, and transacts business with that entity.

When broad Iran sanctions were first imposed by the US, the original World-Check, before it was absorbed into Thomson Reuters, introduced the Iran Economic Interests Solution, to inform clients regarding all available data on Iran. You may want to query your own commercial-off-the-shelf AML/CFT data provider, to insure that its program includes all available information on Iranian entities and their officers.The US maintains a take-no-prisoners approach to Iran sanctions violations, so be alert as to your bank's specific exposure.

Whether Iran will reestablish a global oil sanctions evasion scheme, as it operated before, is not known, but current information confirms that Iranian oil tankers are beingfully loaded, and after leaving Iranian territorial waters, are turning off their AIS tracking systems. Therefore, expect to see more Iranian money laundering in 2018-2019, involving illegal oil sales.

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