OFAC announced today that it was adding a number of Syrian entities, including President Bashar Al-Assad, to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Also added were two Iranian individuals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah) Qods Force. Yesterday, OFAC added the Iranian Bank of Industry and Mines (Bank Sanat va Madan, spelled “Sanad” by OFAC). US persons cannot engage in any dealings with individuals on these lists.
This follows reports that all Turkish banks have now cut ties with Bank Mellat, one of the first Iranian banks to be singled out by the U.S. Treasury Department. Although Bank Mellat has been subject to sanctions for a number of years, the fact that one of Iran’s closest trade partners has effectively severed its links with such an old Iranian financial institution is very telling. This will inevitably make banking transactions even harder for Iran and Iranians.