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Press Center

 Treasury Increases Sanctions Against Syria


7/18/2012

Action Targets Senior Syrian Officials as well as Companies

Linked to Syrian WMD Proliferation

WASHINGTON – Since the uprising against the Assad regime began last spring, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been working to apply sanctions on those involved in human rights abuse in Syria, senior Syrian government officials, and the Syrian government itself to help bring about an end to the Assad regime’s abhorrent campaign of violence against the Syrian people. To date, we have imposed sanctions on more than 100 individuals and entities, as well as the entire Syrian government, including its Central Bank and oil companies.

Continuing these efforts, the Treasury Department today designated 29 senior officials of the Syrian government; five companies linked to the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them, Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC); and a company owned by Rami Makhluf, a corrupt crony of President Assad. 

“Today’s actions reflect the unwavering commitment of the United States to pressure the Assad regime to end the carnage and relinquish power,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.  “As long as Assad stays in power, the bloodshed and instability in Syria will only mount, and we will continue working with our partners in the international community to ensure that the inevitable political transition occurs as rapidly as possible.”

In addition to applying a broad set of sanctions, the United States is also working closely with other countries to enhance the multilateral pressure brought to bear on Syria.  On June 6, 2012, in Washington, D.C., the Treasury Department hosted the Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions, at which countries worked to broaden and harmonize restrictive measures against the Syrian regime.  The next meeting of the Working Group will take place tomorrow, July 19, 2012, in Qatar.

In today’s action, the Treasury Department is designating 29 Syrian government officials, including the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Justice, and the Governor of the Central Bank who has attempted to evade the sanctions place on Syria, as well as other members of Assad’s cabinet who have not been previously designated, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13573, which targets senior officials of the Government of Syria.   

The Treasury Department today also designated five companies, pursuant to E.O. 13382, that are being used to advance the regime’s proliferation efforts. Industrial Solutions, Mechanical Construction Factory (MCF), Handasieh (aka General Organization for Engineering Industries), Business Lab, and Syrian Arab Company for Electronic Industries (aka Syronics) were designated for acting for or on behalf of Syria’s SSRC, the entity responsible for the development of biological and chemical weapons as well as the missiles to deliver them.  The U.S. Department of State today has also sanctioned these five companies pursuant to E.O. 12938 because these entities contributed materially (or posed a risk of contributing materially) to the proliferation of WMD or their means of delivery (including missiles capable of delivering such weapons).

Finally, today’s action also targets Drex Technologies, a company based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.  Drex belongs to Assad’s billionaire cousin and government insider, Rami Makhluf, who was designated by the Treasury Department in February 2008 under E.O. 13460 for improperly benefiting from and aiding the public corruption of Syrian regime officials.  Drex Technologies was designated pursuant to E.O. 13572, which authorizes the United States to sanction any entities owned or controlled by persons designated under E.O. 13460. 

These actions freeze any assets the designated individuals or entities may hold in the U.S. and prohibit U.S. persons or companies from dealing with them.

 For more information about the individuals and entities designated today please see the accompanying Fact Sheet.

071812 Fact Sheet Syria Designations.pdf071812 Fact Sheet Syria Designations.pdf

 

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