[size=36]What causes the imposition of US sanctions on four Iraqi personalities?[/size]
Political | 09:00 - 23/07/2019
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -
Michael Knights spoke of the reasons for the US Treasury Department's decision to impose sanctions on four Iraqi figures.
According to the Washington Institute for Studies, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department announced the imposition of new sanctions on four Iraqi citizens under Executive Order No. 13818. The decision marks the first use of the "Magnetsky Global Human Rights and Accountability Act" to target perpetrators of gross human rights violations and corruption in Iraq, the opening step in a campaign that will impose greater sanctions on politicians in the country. To ensure that this campaign is successful in reducing violations and warning other figures to prioritize Iraq's national interests, US officials must support them by pursuing a clear communication strategy.
He said the four men identified for the week had been targeted for several reasons. Both Ryan Chaldean and al-Qaddu are leading militias that ignored the Iraqi government's orders to withdraw from Christian areas in the Nineveh Plain, where their violations have, according to some reports, prevented the return of displaced persons and hampered reconstruction activities. The other two targets, former Iraqi governors Nofal Hammadi al-Aakoub and Ahmed al-Jubouri (known as Abu Mazen), were punished for corruption. Iraqi courts have already charged each other with similar crimes.
"It seems that these labels have shocked the leaders and the media in Iraq, especially the designation of Abu Mazen, a prominent political actor in Salahuddin province. They do not seem to understand why they are targeted. US sanctions tend to target militia leaders or those with open ties to the sanctions-related entities associated with the regime in Iran.
"In this case, however, one of the figures listed on the list of sanctions is Christian, the other is Shabak, and the other two are Sunni." In addition, a large group of Iraqi officials can be punished convincingly for human rights violations or corruption, raising questions about why these four were first targeted.
He added that it is clear that the punishment of Chaldean and Qado is due to their refusal to abandon the main highways and cities in the Christian parts of Nineveh. When the Iraqi government apparently failed to force their small groups to leave even a few miles, the United States took over. In addition to pressure on troops to withdraw, these inscriptions on the sanctions list should encourage other faction leaders and senior Shiite politicians to curb domestic corruption, comply with Baghdad's legal orders, and avoid targeting US personnel and US bases.
"Understanding the reason for the sanctions against Hamadi and Abu Mazen requires further analysis.Hammadi was most likely targeted because he is a despised figure in Iraq, a former governor known for neglect that led to the deaths of more than 100 people from Mosul who drowned in the March 21 ferry disaster and is known for the corruption that delayed the rebuilding of Mosul. His punishment sends a warning to other conservatives who control the transfer of international aid; it also recalls the need to resist militia infiltration of local economies and governance where possible.
He said Abu Mazen was probably targeted for two reasons: because other Iraqi Sunni leaders know him well, and because he is "known to protect his personal interests by helping agents backed by Iran working outside the control of the state," according to the US Treasury Department announcement. Other Sunni leaders, such as Khamis Al-Khanjar, Ninewa Governor Mansour al-Muradid, Governor Salah al-Din Ammar Jabr and other provincial and police chiefs, can now think about the sanctions and their potential to assess the risks of supporting the factions and their benefits. The next set of US inscriptions will not be delayed on the sanctions list. The question for Iraqi politicians is whether their actions will put them at the top of the pyramid or at the bottom.
In order to strengthen the deterrent effect of the new sanctions, the US government should help Iraqis better understand the implications of inclusion on the list of "nationals under special inclusion." Once individuals are listed on the Treasury Department's list, they will find it very difficult to open or hold bank accounts, transfer money, or conduct property transactions outside of Iraq. This is due to automated survey systems used by most international banks, which often practice strict compliance policies to ensure that they are not penalized or isolated from capital markets and the US currency. Similarly, foreign investors tend to abandon the sanctioned individuals and their companies, often leading to the collapse of business.
Gates predicted that the classification of "nationals under special inclusion" would lead to diplomatic isolation and crippling the political process of individuals. It is normal for an official in an American body, including government officials and aid agencies, not to meet persons on the list of "nationals under special inclusion".
In addition, the designation under the Magnetsky Global Act precludes access to the United States, the process of issuing visas to other countries and may be recognized by the automated systems of airlines. To avoid legal challenges against volatile sanctions, the US Department of Justice follows very strict evidence-related terms for listing on the sanctions list; therefore, many States consider that being on the "Special Enrollment" list is sufficient reason to stop dealing with and restricting registrants . What is perhaps a bad omen in the current situation is that any Iraqi classified as "Specially Designated Nationals" has not been appointed as Minister of Government or Governor after being named.
He called on Washington to clarify to Iraqis that the new sanctions aim to modify behavior in order to remove all that threatens US security interests. At the same time, this is the reason behind the possible lifting of sanctions by some leaders such as Abu Mazen in the future, even with great difficulty, but only if there is strong evidence that they have ended controversial activities or relations.
He put forward an example in which he said the US government exercised this option last year and removed the names of the interior and justice ministers from the list of "nationals under special inclusion" after Ankara released American citizen Andrew Brunson from prison. The same exemption can apply to Iraqi militia leaders who agree to follow the prime minister's orders and refrain from violating human rights, as well as to politicians who cease to offer their own (and often Iran's) interests to the interests of the Iraqi people.
He expected the next phase to see a desire by the US government to take an alternative route to punish Iraqis under Executive Order No. 13438 issued in 2007 under the title "Freezing the property of some people who threaten stability in Iraq." This authority will simplify the process of adding people to and removing the list of "special subjects", allowing Washington to remove the names of individuals who have ceased to threaten US security interests from the list, but without indicating that they are exempt from corruption or human rights violations.
It is clear that the United States is working with its coalition partners in Iraq, particularly Europe, to better coordinate sanctions. Once these partners understand and agree that the target individual poses a problem, they will probably respect the list of "nationals under special inclusion" for visa purposes. They can even use the promise of entry as a means of pressure to urge those on the list to end dangerous behavior, including support for Iranian security operations in Iraq.