US hits Myanmar with new sanctions, rolls back ICC sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration on Friday hit 22 senior Myanmar officials and their families with sanctions for the government’s crackdown on democracy protests after the coup. The action was accompanied by the lifting of sanctions against three Iranian industry leaders whom the Trump administration penalized for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

The Treasury announced the ruling against seven members of the Burmese military and 15 wives and adult children of officials previously sanctioned as part of the US response to the February coup and subsequent violence against protesters in the country. , also known as Burma.

“The suppression of democracy by the military and the campaign of brutal violence against the Burmese people is unacceptable,” he said. “The United States will continue to impose increasing costs on the Burmese military and promote accountability for those responsible for the military coup and the ongoing violence, including by targeting revenue sources for the military and its members. leaders. “

Among the officials targeted are Information Minister Chit Naing, Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Aung Naing Oo, Minister of Labor, Immigration and Population Myint Kyaing, Minister of Protection Social, Relief and Resettlement Thet Thet Khine and three members of the State Administrative Council. Council that the military put in place after the coup.

The sanctions freeze any assets they or any business they own may have in U.S. jurisdictions and prevent Americans from doing business with them.

The Treasury provided no explanation for the lifting of sanctions against the three Iranians, but administration officials said previous similar cuts were based only on targets no longer meeting the sanctions criteria and were not linked to indirect negotiations on the bailout of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which former President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

The Iranians – Behzad Daniel Ferdows, Behzad Daniel Ferdows and Mohammed Reza Dezfulian – were sanctioned by the Trump administration in September 2020 for their work with the Mammut Industrial Group and an affiliate, Mammut Diesel, whose Treasury told the era that they were “key producers and suppliers of military grade dual-use goods for Iranian missile programs.”

Also on Friday, the Treasury released a final rule revoking Trump-era sanctions against prosecutors and International Criminal Court staff. The rule, which will come into effect on July 6 after its publication in the Federal Register, completes President Joe Biden’s April 1 revocation of Trump’s authorization to impose sanctions on ICC officials involved in crimes. investigations into war crimes against US citizens.

That authority served as the basis for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to strike down the now former ICC chief prosecutor and a senior aide with sanctions. Current Secretary of State Antony Blinken lifted those sanctions shortly after Biden’s announcement and the release of the final rule is mostly a housekeeping measure.

“Although the United States continues to oppose claims of ICC jurisdiction over personnel of non-party states such as the United States and its allies without their consent or referral by the United Nations Security Council , the threat and imposition of financial sanctions against the ICC, its staff, and those who assist it is not an effective or appropriate strategy to address US concerns with the ICC, ”Treasury said.

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