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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Bush Orders Sanctions Against Weapons Proliferators

29 June 2005

Freezes U.S. assets of eight organizations from North Korea, Iran and Syria

President Bush issued an executive order June 29 to freeze the assets of individuals or companies in the United States that are doing business with entities in Iran, North Korea and Syria believed to be involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The WMD Proliferation Financing Executive Order designates eight organizations as being responsible for WMD and missile programs, freezes their U.S. assets, and prohibits U.S. citizens or companies from engaging in transactions with them.

In a statement, Treasury Secretary John Snow applauded the order, saying it “sends a clear message” that “if you deal in weapons of mass destruction, you're not going to use the U.S. financial system to bankroll or facilitate your activities.”

Snow said the action is “just the first step” in the Bush administration’s efforts to dismantle financial and support networks that facilitate the proliferation of WMD, saying the Treasury Department will continue to designate individuals and entities under the order if are found to have been playing a role in WMD proliferation.

“By applying these powers against weapons of mass destruction, we deny proliferators and their supporters access to the U.S. financial system and starve them of funds needed to build deadly weapons and threaten innocents around the globe,” Snow said.

The full text of the WMD Proliferation Financing Executive Order can be found on the White House’s Web site.

Following is the text of Treasury Secretary Snow’s statement on the executive order:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of the Treasury
Press Room
June 29, 2005
JS-2613

STATEMENT OF SECRETARY SNOW ON WMD PROLIFERATION FINANCING EXECUTIVE ORDER

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow made the following remarks today in response to President George W. Bush's issuance of the WMD Proliferation Financing Executive Order:

"I applaud President Bush for today issuing the WMD Proliferation Financing Executive Order, aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the missiles that carry them.

"This Order sends a clear message: if you deal in weapons of mass destruction, you're not going to use the U.S. financial system to bankroll or facilitate your activities.

"The Treasury's unique authorities allow us to target the financial underpinnings of a range of national security threats, from terrorism to narcotics traffickers to rogue regimes. By applying these powers against weapons of mass destruction, we deny proliferators and their supporters access to the U.S. financial system and starve them of funds needed to build deadly weapons and threaten innocents around the globe.

"Today's Order carries with it an annex that designates eight organizations in North Korea, Iran and Syria responsible for WMD and missile programs. The designation freezes any property the organizations may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from doing business with them. Today's action is just the first step in our efforts to dismantle the financial and support networks that facilitate WMD proliferation, and we will continue to designate individuals and entities under this Order found to be playing a role in the proliferation of WMD.

"The effectiveness of economic sanctions grows exponentially when they are applied multilaterally. I urge our partners around the globe to put into place similar systems that allow for the freezing of proliferators' assets. We must do all we can to financially isolate those threatening peace and security through the proliferation of WMD," said Snow.

Note: Click here for a list of the eight organizations named in the annex: http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/20050629.shtml.

The WMD Proliferation Financing Executive Order builds on E.O. 12938 (http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/legal/eo/12938.pdf)) issued November 14, 1994, and implements an important recommendation outlined by the Silberman-Robb WMD Commission.

-30-

WMD Proliferation Financing Executive Order

Today's Presidential Action

President Bush has signed an Executive Order to combat trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related materials by cutting off financing and other support for proliferation networks.

The Executive Order:

* Provides a new tool to defeat WMD proliferation by authorizing the freezing of assets of WMD proliferators and their supporters, thereby prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with them;

* Lays the foundation for expanded international cooperation against WMD networks, including through the Proliferation Security Initiative; and

* Implements a key recommendation of the Silberman-Robb WMD Commission.

The EO Disrupts WMD Proliferation Networks by:

* Blocking WMD proliferators access to U.S. commercial and financial systems;

* Allowing the Treasury Department to freeze U.S. assets and block U.S. transactions of proliferators and persons who provide support or services to such proliferators;

* Establishing the ability to block U.S. assets of, and deny U.S. market access to, those foreign banks that refuse to freeze assets of designated WMD proliferators; and

* Complementing existing authorities related to WMD proliferation that prohibit certain economic transactions and assistance

The EO Advances International Cooperative Efforts to Defeat WMD Trafficking by:

* Taking new steps to shut down illicit WMD financial flows, as called for by G-8 Leaders at Sea Island in 2004;

* Establishing a basis for further efforts in the G-8 and among Proliferation Security Initiative partners to identify, track, and freeze assets of WMD proliferators and their supporters; and

* Providing a model for other nations to follow in adopting laws to cut off the funds and services that enable WMD proliferation, as required by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.

The EO Establishes Targets for U.S. Action by:

* Designating eight organizations in North Korea, Iran, and Syria responsible for WMD and missile programs;

* Prohibiting U.S. transactions with designated entities; and

* Authorizing the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury to designate additional WMD proliferators and persons that provide support or services to those entities.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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