Effective August 18, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order tightening economic sanctions against the government of Syria because of its “continuing escalation of violence against the people of Syria.” Executive Order Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Syria (Aug. 18, 2011). Among other things, the order—
- Freezes the property and interests of property of the Syrian government in the U.S. or held by U.S. persons (including any U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the U.S. or any jurisdiction within the U.S. (including foreign branches), or any person in the U.S.;
- Prohibits U.S. persons to (i) engage in any transactions with the Syrian government, (ii) make “new investments” in Syria, (iii) provide any services to Syria, or (iv) carry on business dealings in or related to petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin;
- Bans the importation of Syrian-origin petroleum products into the U.S.; and
- Prohibits U.S. persons to facilitate, approve, finance, or guarantee a transaction or to deal with foreign persons related to any of the above prohibitions against Syria.