OFAC issued a Finding of Violation to a U.S. aviation company that engaged with a designated Iranian commercial airline in violation of the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations. Although the U.S. company entered into bankruptcy and has since been dissolved, OFAC stated that the violation would have "justified a strong civil monetary penalty."
In the Enforcement Information, OFAC stated that Aero Sky Aircraft Maintenance, Inc. negotiated and entered into a contract and contingent contract with the designated Iranian Airline Mahan Air on December 19, 2016. OFAC designated Mahan Air on October 12, 2011 for providing support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. While Aero Sky was aware that Mahan Air was a Specially Designated National ("SDN"), it mistakenly determined that the contingent contract was authorized by General License 1.
General License 1, which was issued in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (i.e., the "Iran nuclear deal") - and was revoked following U.S. withdrawal from the agreement in 2018 - generally permitted Iran-related activities of the type engaged in by Aero Sky. However, General License 1 explicitly carved out dealings with SDNs like Mahan Air that were designated under OFAC authorities other than 31 C.F.R. Part 560 ("Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations"). As noted above, Mahan Air was designated under 31 C.F.R. Part 594 ("Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations").
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.