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Friday, January 21, 2005

Remember OFAC when publishing material

Related to my previous al Qaeda book post, OFAC recently issued a new rule (PDF) clarifying the extent to which publishing activities with persons in Cuba, Iran and Sudan are authorized, notwithstanding the U.S. embargoes against those countries.

Below is the press release, in its entirety:

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December 15, 2004
JS-2152

Treasury Issues General License for Publishing Activities

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today issued a new rule clarifying the extent to which publishing activities with persons in Cuba, Iran and Sudan are authorized, notwithstanding the U.S. embargoes against those countries. Today's action addresses a series of issues that have come to the attention of the Treasury during the past year.

"OFAC's previous guidance was interpreted by some as discouraging the publication of dissident speech from within these oppressive regimes. That is the opposite of what we want," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury's Under Secretary for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). "This new policy will ensure those dissident voices and others will be heard without undermining our sanctions policy."

The new rule enables U.S. persons to freely engage in most ordinary publishing activities with persons in Cuba, Iran and Sudan, while maintaining restrictions on certain interactions with the governments, government officials, and people acting on behalf of the governments of those countries. The rule entails the issuance of general licenses in the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 CFR part 515, the Iranian Transactions Regulations, 31 CFR part 560, and the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 538.

"Persons engaging in the activities authorized in the general licenses can do so without seeking permission from OFAC," said OFAC Director Robert Werner. "This rule provides clarity and promotes important policies aimed at the free exchange of ideas without undermining the national security objectives of these country sanctions."

Iran, Sudan, and Cuba are subject to U.S. sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) based on the threat they pose to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States. IEEPA and TWEA give the president the authority to impose sanctions in times of war or national emergency. These statutes are critical to U.S. interests with respect to dangerous regimes, terrorists, narcotics traffickers and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Embargoes established under IEEPA and TWEA often prohibit persons under U.S. jurisdiction from providing goods or services to persons in sanctioned countries, unless authorized by OFAC.

Economic sanctions against foreign states and groups whose actions pose significant threats to the United States are an integral part of our overall national security policy. OFAC is charged with implementing and administering the U.S. Government's economic sanctions programs to effectively put pressure on those posing such threats, while promoting real and positive change.


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