On 16 June 2017, President Trump announced, that the U.S. would be rolling back Obama-era Cuba sanctions relaxations. As a consequence, the Trump Administration will reinstate travel and commercial restrictions eased by the Obama administration in an attempt to obtain additional concessions from the Cuban government.
On 15 June 2017, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to adopt new sanctions against Iran. The new sanctions are framed in the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 (S.722). Text of S.722 can be found here. …
On 18-05-2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s OFAC slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia or TSJ and Constitutional Chamber TSJ-C). OFAC designated eight members of the TSJ for their contribution to undermining the Venezuelan democratic process). Specifically, the black-listings are based on Executive Order 13692, which impose both a travel ban (into the U.S.) and freeze all assets (subject to U.S. jurisdiction) of the blacklisted judges. As a result, all U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with these persons.
On 17 May 2017, the Trump Administration renewed its waiver of sanctions by certifying that the Iran Nuclear Deal is working. However, the White House did state that the U.S. will continue its review of the deal.
On 04 May 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act (H.R. 1644). This latest salvo of U.S. sanctions against North Korea aims to thwart Pyongyang’s advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The sanctions target North Korea’s shipping industry and use of slave labor. The approved bill has now moved to the U.S. Senate, who must now approve the restrictive measures.
On 25 April 2017, the Joint Commission (JC) established by the Iran Nuclear Deal, met in Vienna to review the implementation of the Nuclear Deal. Under the Nuclear Deal, the JC is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the JCPOA. The meeting, 5th meeting of the JC discussed amongst other things: cooperation in the field of civil nuclear safety, the modernization program of Arak, and sanctions relief.
On 28 April 2017, the UN Security Council (UNSC) meet to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program and ballistic missile testing (a flagrant violation of UNSC resolutions). With rising tensions, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said…
On 21 April 2017, the U.S. Treasury, in consultation with President Trump, refused U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil a waiver on Russian sanctions. This refusal puts a dent in Exxon Mobil’s plans to drill oil…
On 24 April 2017, the U.S. Government blacklisted 271 Syrian persons for the chemical attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun (Idlib province in Northern Syria). The blacklisting consists designating 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center.
On 18 April 2017, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson certified to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the recently concluded Nuclear Deal – Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, he also announced that President Trump would start an inter-agency to review on the appropriateness of U.S. Iran sanctions relief.