Casey, Senate Colleagues Call On Treasury Secretary to Investigate Possible Iran Sanction Violations at London Conference

Casey, Senate Colleagues Call On Treasury Secretary to Investigate Possible Iran Sanction Violations at London Conference

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today released a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urging the Secretary to investigate the National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) intent to present $40 billion in projects to foreign investors at an upcoming conference in London. The group has previously been noted as an affiliate with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, known for their role in Iran’s nuclear program and support for the Assad regime in Syria.

In the joint letter, the senators urged Secretary Lew to investigate any possible breach in sanctions by NIOC or the conference sponsors—CWC Group Ltd. a London-based energy company—and to take any enforcement actions needed before the conference begins. 

“We have grave concerns that Iran is exploiting ongoing diplomatic negotiations regarding its nuclear program to weaken the existing international sanctions regime,” the senators wrote. “We believe it is possible that CWC Group’s sponsorship of this conference could constitute material support, possibly placing it in violation of sanctions policy, and we urge you to investigate any possible breach. As we continue our diplomatic efforts, it is vitally important that existing U.S. sanctions continue to be strictly enforced. ”

The full text of the letter to Secretary Lew is below:

Dear Secretary Lew:

We have grave concerns that Iran is exploiting ongoing diplomatic negotiations regarding its nuclear program to weaken the existing international sanctions regime. Recently, the National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) deputy director for integrated planning, Moshtaghali Gohari, announced that 40 to 50 projects with a total value of $40 billion will be presented to foreign investors at a conference in London scheduled for February 23-25, 2015. We urge the Treasury Department to act quickly to investigate this matter and take enforcement actions if needed before the conference.

As you are aware, it is a violation of current U.S. sanctions policy to provide material support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or its affiliates. The Treasury Department designated NIOC as an affiliate of the IRGC in 2012. The IRGC and its affiliates have been sanctioned multiple times for their role in Iran’s nuclear program, support for terrorism, egregious human rights abuses, and support for the Assad regime in Syria.

The London conference is being promoted and organized with the full support of NIOC, and it features a number of high-ranking NIOC officials as speakers. The conference is sponsored by CWC Group Ltd., a London-based energy company. We believe it is possible that the CWC Group’s sponsorship of this conference could constitute material support, possibly placing it in violation of the sanctions policy, and we urge you to investigate any possible breach.

As we continue our diplomatic efforts, it is vitally important that existing U.S. sanctions continue to be strictly enforced. We look forward to your response to this request.

Respectfully,

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