by Jeremy Paner
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 271 Syrians accused of serving the Government of Syria as employees of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC). OFAC announced this action in response to the April 4 sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. The U.S. government used sanctions to respond to previous chemical weapons attacks. On January 12, 2017 OFAC announced the designation of six SSRC officials following three separate chlorine gas attacks against civilians.
OFAC is likely to continue designating individuals and entities the U.S. government alleges to be responsible for chemical attacks on civilians. This could lead to targeting significant Iranian interests that would jeopardize the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. In the meantime, compliance programs should assess their current procedures against OFAC screening expectations. Continue reading