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Public Statements

Letter: Message to the Congress Concerning Executive Order Designating Iranian Officials Responsible for or Complicit in Serious Human Rights Abuses

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the "order") that takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995.

In Executive Order 12957, the President found that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. To deal with that threat, the President in Executive Order 12957 declared a national emergency and imposed prohibitions on certain transactions with respect to the development of Iranian petroleum resources. To further respond to that threat, Executive Order 12959 of May 6, 1995, imposed comprehensive trade and financial sanctions on Iran. Finally, Executive Order 13059 of August 19, 1997, consolidated and clarified the previous orders.

I have determined that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran on or after its presidential election of June 12, 2009, including its violent response to peaceful demonstrations and its commission of serious human rights abuses, warrant the imposition of additional sanctions.

The prohibitions contained in the new order implement section 105(a) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111 195) (CISADA) concerning, inter alia, the imposition of sanctions pursuant to IEEPA with respect to each person on the list referred to in section 105(b). I applaud the efforts of the Congress to demonstrate the strong and sustained commitment of the United States to advancing the universal rights of all Iranians, and to sanction those who have abused their rights. The order, however, goes beyond the scope of section 105 of CISADA by imposing sanctions pursuant to IEEPA on persons who meet a broader set of criteria than those specified in section 105(b).

The order blocks the property and interests in property of persons listed in the Annex to the order, who I have determined meet the first of the three criteria set forth below. The order also provides criteria for designations of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with or at the recommendation of the Secretary of State:

* to be an official of the Government of Iran or a person acting on behalf of the Government of Iran (including members of paramilitary organizations) who is responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Iran or Iranian citizens or residents, or the family members of the foregoing, on or after June 12, 2009, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in Iran;
* to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the activities described in section 1(a)(ii)(A) of the order or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order; or
* to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order.

I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury the authority, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and the relevant provisions of CISADA, as may be necessary to carry out the blocking related purposes of the order and to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out section 104 of CISADA. I have delegated to the Secretary of State the functions and authorities related to visa sanctions conferred upon the President by the relevant provisions of CISADA. I have also delegated to the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the function of submitting to the appropriate congressional committees referred to in section 105(b) of CISADA the initial and updated lists of persons who are subject to visa sanctions and whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order. All executive agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order.

The order, a copy of which is enclosed, became effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on September 29, 2010.

BARACK OBAMA


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