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Public Papers - 1992

Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the National Emergency With Respect to Iran

1992-11-10

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

I hereby report to the Congress on developments since the last Presidential report on May 14, 1992, concerning the national emergency with respect to Iran that was declared in Executive Order No. 12170 of November 14, 1979, and matters relating to Executive Order No. 12613 of October 29, 1987. This report is submitted pursuant to section 204(c) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(c), and section 505(c) of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985, 22 U.S.C. 2349aa - 9(c). This report covers events through October 15, 1992. My last report, dated May 14, 1992, covered events through March 31, 1992.

1. There have been no amendments to the Iranian Transactions Regulations (``ITRs''), 31 CFR Part 560, or to the Iranian Assets Control Regulations (``IACRs''), 31 CFR Part 535, since my last report.

2. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (``FAC'') of the Department of the Treasury continues to process applications for import licenses under the ITRs. However, as previously reported, recent amendments to the ITRs have resulted in a substantial decrease in the number of applications received relating to the importation of nonfungible Iranian-origin goods.

During the reporting period, the Customs Service has continued to effect numerous seizures of Iranian-origin merchandise, primarily carpets, for violation of the import prohibitions of the ITRs. FAC and Customs Service investigations of these violations have resulted in forfeiture actions and the imposition of civil monetary penalties. Additional forfeiture and civil penalty actions are under review.

3. The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (``the Tribunal''), established at The Hague pursuant to the Algiers Accords, continues to make progress in arbitrating the claims before it. Since my last report, the Tribunal has rendered 5 awards for a total of 533 awards. Of that total, 359 have been awards in favor of American claimants: 217 of these were awards on agreed terms, authorizing and approving payment of settlements negotiated by the parties, and 142 were decisions adjudicated on the merits. The Tribunal has issued 34 decisions dismissing claims on the merits and 81 decisions dismissing claims for jurisdictional reasons. Of the 59 remaining awards, 3 approved the withdrawal of cases, and 56 were in favor of Iranian claimants. As of September 30, 1992, payments on awards to successful American claimants from the Security Account held by the NV Settlement Bank stood at ,046,090,574.01.

As of September 30, 1992, the Security Account has fallen below the required balance of 0 million 35 times. Iran has periodically replenished the account, as required by the Algiers Accords, by transferring funds from the separate account held by the NV Settlement Bank in which interest on the Security Account is deposited. Iran has also replenished the Security Account with the proceeds from the sale of Iranian-origin oil imported into the United States, pursuant to transactions licensed on a case-by-case basis by FAC. Iran has not, however, replenished the account since the last oil sale deposit on December 3, 1991. The aggregate amount that has been transferred from the interest account to the Security Account is 9,472,986.47. As of September 30, 1992, the total amount in the Security Account was 9,528,936.74, and the total amount in the interest account was ,301,717.98.

4. The Tribunal continues to make progress in the arbitration of claims of U.S. nationals for 0,000.00 or more. Since the last report, 4 large claims have been decided. More than 85 percent of nonbank claims have now been disposed of through adjudication, settlement, or voluntary withdrawal, leaving 85 such claims on the docket.

5. As anticipated by the May 13, 1990, agreement settling the claims of U.S. nationals against Iran for less than 0,000.00, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (``FCSC'') has continued its review of 3,112 claims. The FCSC has issued decisions in 849 claims, for total awards of more than million. The FCSC expects to complete its adjudication of the remaining claims in late 1993.

6. In coordination with concerned Government agencies, the Department of State continues to present United States Government claims against Iran, as well as responses by the United States Government to claims brought against it by Iran.

7. As anticipated by my last report, the Tribunal terminated Case No. A/15 (I:G), the case brought by Iran concerning bank syndicate claims against Dollar Account No. 1 at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, on June 12, 1992, on the joint request of the two governments.

8. Jose Maria Ruda, President of the Tribunal, tendered his resignation on October 2, 1992. His resignation will take effect on March 31, 1993, or on such later date as his successor becomes available to take up his duties.

9. The situation reviewed above continues to involve important diplomatic, financial, and legal interests of the United States and its nationals, and presents an unusual challenge to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The IACRs issued pursuant to Executive Order No. 12170 continue to play an important role in structuring our relationship with Iran and in enabling the United States to implement properly the Algiers Accords. Similarly, the ITRs issued pursuant to Executive Order No. 12613 continue to advance important objectives in combating international terrorism. I shall continue to exercise the powers at my disposal to deal with these problems and will continue to report periodically to the Congress on significant developments.

Sincerely,

George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Dan Quayle, President of the Senate.

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