Throughout the Middle East and North Africa there has been
continuing unrest. This bulletin follows in a series on the MENA
In Iran the situation has not changed, the sanctions remain in
force. Most recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel intervened to
stop billions of euros of Indian oil payments from reaching Iranian
accounts via Germany, according to a German newspaper. Germany will
no longer authorise the Bundesbank, to clear the payments headed to
Hamburg-based EIH a bank currently under US but not EU sanctions.
There has also been a reminder of the consequences of breaching
sanctions. Three former executives of Mabey & Johnson, a UK
engineering firm, were imprisoned in February for breach of UK law
implementing UN sanctions. They were found guilty of paying
"commissions" to government officials in Iraq during
The last of five Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines
(IRISL) cargo ships seized following sanctions against Iran has
been released. The IRISL vessels were impounded at ports around the
world last year. Three ships held in Singapore were released in
January and the fourth, seized in Hong Kong, was allowed to sail in
February. The last vessel was held in Malta.
In March Hong Kong passed the United Nations Sanctions (Iran) (Amendments)
Regulation 2011. The new laws that went into effect in March
include asset freezes on Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines
(IRISL) and its affiliates. The laws are in line with United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, which was passed last
Since the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 288/2011 was
issued in March in respect of the asset-freezing measures directed
by the European Union and the United Nations against certain
persons in view of the situation in Libya, there has been a
stalemate between the fighting of the rebels and the forces loyal
to Muamar Gaddafi. It has been reported that the United States will
begin withdrawing its combat jets, missile ships and submarines
from the operation to secure the no-fly zone over Libya.
According to oil and gas news sources the rebels are in
conversation with United Nations officials to exempt exportable oil
now under their control from international sanctions. According to
the same sources Qatar has recognised the Libyan rebels movement
and has agreed to market oil produced from eastern Libya fields no
longer under the control of Gaddafi.
The British foreign secretary William Hague has said that Qatar
has offered to facilitate the sale of Libyan oil and to use the
proceeds to help meet Libyan humanitarian needs.
Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)
A UN embargo on heavy weapons to Ivory Coast has been in place
since 2004. In light of recent violence the UN resolved on 30 March
that financial sanctions should be imposed against Laurent Gbagbo
(who was defeated in elections last November but clung to power)
and four others who were obstructing the peace process.
On 7th April HM Treasury issued guidance on Council Regulation (EU) No 330/2011 in respect
of the restrictive measures directed by the United Nations and the
European Union against certain persons and entities in view of the
current situation in the Ivory Coast. The EU Council Regulation
reflects the additions to the list of those subject to asset
freezes made by Resolution 1975 ('UNSCR 1975 (2011)').
Adds further persons to the list of those required by the EU to
be subject to asset freezes;
Provides further grounds on which competent authorities may
license derogations from the asset freezing prohibitions; and
Includes additional restrictive measures relating to bonds,
securities and loans.
Ivory Coast produces 40% of the world's cocoa. Alassane
Ouattara, widely regarded as the winner of the elections, called
for a four month ban on cocoa exports in January to starve Gbagbo
of funds and now that the conflict is nearly over it is hoped that
exports will resume within days.
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