Middle East

News & Analysis as of

Real OFAC Policy Changes Toward Iran—OFAC will consider non Ag/Med exports

As a new round of nuclear talks involving American, European, and Iranian leaders commence this week in Vienna it appears that the first-step deal agreed upon in January has already led to significant changes in OFAC’ s...more

Whistleblowing in Afghanistan Allegedly Elicits Retaliatory Response

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in September 2013 that Mike Elder proffered sufficient evidence to continue with his False Claims Act action against DRS Technologies, Inc. (DRS)....more

Trouble or promise in the pipeline?

IRAQ’S Kurdistan region benefits from abundant hydrocarbon resources and is enjoying impressive economic growth and relative political stability. By contrast with other regions in Iraq, security conditions are benign and...more

DIFC Continues To Establish Its Arbitration-Friendly Credentials With Recent Amendment To DIFC Arbitration Law

Following a recent amendment to the Dubai International Financial Centre1 (DIFC) Arbitration Law, it is now clear that matters brought before the DIFC Courts which are governed by a valid arbitration agreement shall be stayed...more

Israel's 10-Year Tax Holiday for Immigrants Is No Tax Haven for Ex-Pats

While Israel welcomes immigrants, and even provides them with tax incentives, it is serious about ending any perceived notion that it is somehow complicit with taxes evaded by its foreign residents in their home country. As...more

OFAC Expands and Clarifies License for Exports of Personal Communications Items and Services to Iran

The Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), amended the Iran personal communications General License D-1 (GL D-1) on Feb. 7, 2014, expanding, clarifying and superseding the May 2013 General...more

Iran sanctions relief: what does it mean for businesses in the Middle East?

On January 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of State issued guidance implementing the Joint Plan of Action (“JPOA”) entered into by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, the...more

OFAC Publishes New Guidance On Temporary And Limited U.S. Sanctions Relief For Iran

On January 30, 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published in the Federal Register Guidance Relating to the Provision of Certain Temporary Sanctions Relief in Order to Implement the Joint Plan of Action...more

One More List: OFAC’s Foreign Sanctions Evaders List

On February 6, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published notice that it was listing eleven named parties as “Foreign Sanctions Evaders,” pursuant to Executive Order 13608 (May 1,...more

OFAC Issues New Foreign Sanctions Evaders List

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has created a new list – the Foreign Sanctions Evaders List (“FSE List”) – that U.S. companies and others should consult when engaging in...more

Far Beyond the Valley

Global tech hubs are a source of technology, talent, and funding - While media coverage of the technology industry focuses largely on Silicon Valley, savvy tech and life sciences executives have been looking much...more

Capital Thinking: International

Iran - In his State of the Union address last Tuesday before a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged Congressional sanctions contributed to bringing about the P5+1 interim agreement with Iran. ...more

Implementation of Temporary Iran Sanctions Relief

Last November, the group of nations known as the P5+1 (United States, U.K., Germany, France, Russia and China) reached an initial understanding with Iran whereby Iran agreed to accept limits on its nuclear program in exchange...more

How Greater Regulation Will Lead to Islamic Finance Growth in Qatar

Qatar is set to further enhance financial markets regulation by developing a consistent risk-based regulatory framework. Governor H.E. Abdulla bin Saoud al Thani has announced a three-year strategic plan, which was jointly...more

Iran Sanctions Relief Offers Limited Opportunities and Substantial Risks

Introduction and Summary - On January 20, 2014, the departments of State and the Treasury announced details of the United States’ plan to suspend certain sanctions against Iran pursuant to the November 24, 2013 Joint...more

Iranian Sanctions – Joint Action Plan is Implemented in EU

Background - Implementation of the Joint Action Plan agreed between the E3/EU+3 in October 2013 by suspending certain sanctions against Iran in relation to nuclear proliferation began on 20 January 2014. This...more

Abu Dhabi Oil Concession Expires

Abu Dhabi’s 75-year-old onshore oil concession expired 10 January 2014, ending its existing partnership with BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Total SA and Portugal’s Patex Oil and Gas....more

Iran Sanctions—Implementation of P5+1/Iran Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement

The United States and the European Union have begun relieving Iran of some limited sanctions in exchange for Iran’s curtailing its nuclear proliferation activities....more

United States Implements Temporary Changes to Iran Sanctions under Interim Agreement

On January 20, 2014, the U.S. Treasury and State Departments took steps to implement temporary and limited changes to U.S. sanctions policy for Iran as agreed under the interim nuclear deal reached by Iran and the P5 + 1...more

EU partially suspends Iran sanctions under nuclear deal

I. Introduction - On 20 January 2014, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed to temporarily suspend certain sanctions against Iran, namely those relating to (re)insurance and transport services for Iranian crude...more

First Qatari IPO in Three Years and QFMA’s New Listing Rules

Qatar Petroleum (QP) recently announced the first initial public offering (IPO) in Qatar since 2010 and the introduction by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) of new listing rules. The IPO is also the first IPO...more

Amendment to Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Arbitration Law

What has happened? The reputation of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as a burgeoning hub for international arbitration was significantly boosted late last month, when the DIFC Authority amended the DIFC...more

Assassination and Apathy in Lebanon Serve as a Reminder

On December 27, 2013 the Prime Minister of Finance of Lebanon was assassinated. The explosion in the country’s capital, Beirut, left five dead and 50 wounded. Unfortunately, in Lebanon, this kind of event happens so...more

Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the UAE

Dubai Court of Cassation refuses to enforce a foreign arbitral award for lack of jurisdiction - What has happened? A successful party in an arbitration recently sought to enforce two ICC awards rendered in...more

The Sanctions Divide: The White House Pushes to Ease Trade Restrictions on Iran While Congress Contemplates a New Round of...

On November 24, 2013 in Geneva, the five members of the UN Security Council – United States, United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia, plus Germany ("P5+1"), agreed on a Joint Plan of Action ("JPA") to lift some of the...more

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