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Order Renewing Order Temporarily Denying Export Privileges

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Mahan Airway, Mahan Tower, No. 21, Azadegan St., M.A. Jenah Exp. Way, Tehran, Iran;

Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard, a/k/a Kosarian Fard, P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;

Mahmoud Amini, G#22 Dubai Airport Free Zone, P.O. Box 393754, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Mohamed Abdulla Alqaz Building, Al Maktoum Street, Al Rigga, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;

Kerman Aviation, a/k/a GIE Kerman Aviation, 42 Avenue Montaigne 75008, Paris, France;

Sirjanco Trading LLC, P.O. Box 8709, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;

Ali Eslamian, 33 Cavendish Square, 4th Floor, London, W1G0PW, United Kingdom and 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road St. Johns Wood, London NW87RY, United Kingdom;

Mahan Air General Trading LLC, 19th Floor Al Moosa Tower One, Sheik Zayed Road; Dubai 40594, United Arab Emirates;

Skyco (UK Ltd., 33 Cavendish Square, 4th Floor, London, W1G 0PV, United Kingdom;

Equipco (UK Ltd., 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road, London, NW8 7RY, United Kingdom;

Mehdi Bahrami, Mahan Airways—Istanbul Office, Cumhuriye Cad. Sibil Apt No: 101 D:6, 34374 Emadad, Sisli Istanbul, Turkey;

Al Naser Airlines, a/k/a al-Naser Airlines,a/k/a Alnaser Airlines and Air Freight Ltd., Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq and Al Amirat Street, Section 309, St. 3/H.20, Al Mansour Baghdad, Iraq and P.O. Box 28360, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and P.O. Box 911399, Amman 11191, Jordan;

Ali Abdullah Alhay, a/k/a Ali Alhay, a/k/a Ali Abdullah Ahmed Alhay, Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq and Anak Street, Qatif, Saudi Arabia 61177;

Bahar Safwa General Trading, P.O. Box 113212, Citadel Tower, Floor-5, Office #504, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and P.O. Box 8709, Citadel Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;

Sky Blue Bird Group, a/k/a Sky Blue Bird Aviation,a/k/a Sky Blue Bird Ltd, a/k/a Sky Blue Bird FZC, P.O. Box 16111, Ras Al Khaimah Trade Zone, United Arab Emirates;

Issam Shammout, a/k/a Muhammad Isam Muhammad Anwar Nur Shammout,a/k/a Issam Anwar, Philips Building, 4th Floor, Al Fardous Street, Damascus, Syria and Al Kolaa, Beirut, Lebanon 151515 and 17-18 Margaret Street, 4th Floor, London, W1W 8RP, United Kingdom and Cumhuriyet Mah. Kavakli San St. Fulya, Cad. Hazar Sok. No.14/A Silivri, Istanbul, Turkey;

Pursuant to Section 766.24 of the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2016) (“EAR” or the “Regulations”),[1] I hereby grant the request of the Office of Export Enforcement (“OEE”) to renew the July 7, 2016 Temporary Denial Order (the “TDO”). The July 7, 2016 Order denied the export privileges of Mahan Airways, Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard, Mahmoud Amini, Kerman Aviation, Sirjanco Trading LLC, Ali Eslamian, Mahan Air General Trading LLC, Skyco (UK) Ltd., Equipco (UK) Ltd., Mehdi Bahrami, Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, Bahar Safwa General Trading, Sky Blue Bird Group, and Issam Shammout.[2] I find that renewal of the TDO is necessary in the public interest to prevent an imminent violation of the EAR.

I. Procedural History

On March 17, 2008, Darryl W. Jackson, the then-Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement (“Assistant Secretary”), signed a TDO denying Mahan Airways' export privileges for a period of 180 days on the grounds that its issuance was necessary in the public interest to prevent an imminent violation of the Regulations. The TDO also named as denied persons Blue Airways, of Yerevan, Armenia (“Blue Airways of Armenia”), as well as the “Balli Group Respondents,” namely, Balli Group PLC, Balli Aviation, Balli Holdings, Vahid Alaghband, Hassan Alaghband, Blue Sky One Ltd., Blue Sky Two Ltd., Blue Sky Three Ltd., Blue Sky Four Ltd., Blue Sky Five Ltd., and Blue Sky Six Ltd., all of the United Kingdom. The TDO was issued ex parte pursuant to Section 766.24(a), and went into effect on March 21, 2008, the date it was published in the Federal Register.

The TDO subsequently has been renewed in accordance with Section 766.24(d), including most recently on July 7, 2016.[3] As of March 9, 2010, the Start Printed Page 2313Balli Group Respondents and Blue Airways were no longer subject to the TDO. As part of the February 25, 2011 TDO renewal, Gatewick LLC (a/k/a Gatewick Freight and Cargo Services,a/k/a Gatewick Aviation Services), Mahmoud Amini, and Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard (“Kosarian Fard”) were added as related persons in accordance with Section 766.23 of the Regulations.[4] On July 1, 2011, the TDO was modified by adding Zarand Aviation as a respondent in order to prevent an imminent violation.[5] As part of the August 24, 2011 renewal, Kerman Aviation, Sirjanco Trading LLC, and Ali Eslamian were added to the TDO as related persons. Mahan Air General Trading LLC, Skyco (UK) Ltd., and Equipco (UK) Ltd. were added as related persons on April 9, 2012. Mehdi Bahrami was added to the TDO as a related person as part of the February 4, 2013 renewal order.

On May 21, 2015, the TDO was modified to add Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and Bahar Safwa General Trading as respondents. Sky Blue Bird Group and its chief executive officer Issam Shammout were added to the TDO as related persons as part of the July 13, 2015 renewal order.[6]

On December 13, 2016, BIS, through its Office of Export Enforcement (“OEE”), submitted a written request for renewal of the TDO. The written request was made more than 20 days before the scheduled expiration of the current TDO, which issued on July 7, 2016. Notice of the renewal request also was provided to Mahan Airways, Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and Bahar Safwa General Trading in accordance with Sections 766.5 and 766.24(d) of the Regulations. No opposition to the renewal of the TDO has been received. Furthermore, no appeal of the related person determinations made as part of the September 3, 2010, February 25, 2011, August 24, 2011, April 9, 2012, February 4, 2013, and July 13, 2015 renewal or modification orders has been made by Kosarian Fard, Mahmoud Amini, Kerman Aviation, Sirjanco Trading LLC, Ali Eslamian, Mahan Air General Trading LLC, Skyco (UK) Ltd., Equipco (UK) Ltd., Mehdi Bahrami, Sky Blue Bird Group, or Issam Shammout.[7]

II. Renewal of the TDO

A. Legal Standard

Pursuant to Section 766.24, BIS may issue or renew an order temporarily denying a respondent's export privileges upon a showing that the order is necessary in the public interest to prevent an “imminent violation” of the Regulations. 15 CFR 766.24(b)(1) and 766.24(d). “A violation may be `imminent' either in time or degree of likelihood.” 15 CFR 766.24(b)(3). BIS may show “either that a violation is about to occur, or that the general circumstances of the matter under investigation or case under criminal or administrative charges demonstrate a likelihood of future violations.” Id. As to the likelihood of future violations, BIS may show that the violation under investigation or charge “is significant, deliberate, covert and/or likely to occur again, rather than technical or negligent [.]” Id. A “lack of information establishing the precise time a violation may occur does not preclude a finding that a violation is imminent, so long as there is sufficient reason to believe the likelihood of a violation.” Id.

B. The TDO and BIS's Request for Renewal

OEE's request for renewal is based upon the facts underlying the issuance of the initial TDO and the TDO renewals in this matter and the evidence developed over the course of this investigation indicating a blatant disregard of U.S. export controls and the TDO. The initial TDO was issued as a result of evidence that showed that Mahan Airways and other parties engaged in conduct prohibited by the EAR by knowingly re-exporting to Iran three U.S.-origin aircraft, specifically Boeing 747s (“Aircraft 1-3”), items subject to the EAR and classified under Export Control Classification Number (“ECCN”) 9A991.b, without the required U.S. Government authorization. Further evidence submitted by BIS indicated that Mahan Airways was involved in the attempted re-export of three additional U.S.-origin Boeing 747s (“Aircraft 4-6”) to Iran.

As discussed in the September 17, 2008 renewal order, evidence presented by BIS indicated that Aircraft 1-3 continued to be flown on Mahan Airways' routes after issuance of the TDO, in violation of the Regulations and the TDO itself.[8] It also showed that Aircraft 1-3 had been flown in further violation of the Regulations and the TDO on the routes of Iran Air, an Iranian Government airline. Moreover, as discussed in the March 16, 2009, September 11, 2009 and March 9, 2010 Renewal Orders, Mahan Airways registered Aircraft 1-3 in Iran, obtained Iranian tail numbers for them (EP-MNA, EP-MNB, and EP-MNE, respectively), and continued to operate at least two of them in violation of the Regulations and the TDO,[9] while also committing an additional knowing and willful violation when it negotiated for and acquired an additional U.S.-origin aircraft. The additional acquired aircraft was an MD-82 aircraft, which subsequently was painted in Mahan Airways' livery and flown on multiple Mahan Airways' routes under tail number TC-TUA.

The March 9, 2010 Renewal Order also noted that a court in the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) had found Mahan Airways in contempt of court on February 1, 2010, for failing to comply with that court's December 21, 2009 and January 12, 2010 orders compelling Mahan Airways to remove the Boeing 747s from Iran and ground them in the Netherlands. Mahan Airways and the Balli Group Respondents had been litigating before the U.K. court concerning ownership and control of Aircraft 1-3. In a letter to the U.K. court dated January 12, 2010, Mahan Airways' Chairman indicated, inter alia, that Mahan Airways opposes U.S. Government actions against Iran, that it continued to operate the aircraft on its routes in and out of Tehran (and had 158,000 “forward bookings” for these aircraft), and that it wished to continue to do so and would pay damages if required by that court, rather than ground the aircraft.

The September 3, 2010 renewal order discussed the fact that Mahan Airways' violations of the TDO extended beyond operating U.S.-origin aircraft and Start Printed Page 2314attempting to acquire additional U.S.-origin aircraft. In February 2009, while subject to the TDO, Mahan Airways participated in the export of computer motherboards, items subject to the Regulations and designated as EAR99, from the United States to Iran, via the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), in violation of both the TDO and the Regulations, by transporting and/or forwarding the computer motherboards from the UAE to Iran. Mahan Airways' violations were facilitated by Gatewick LLC, which not only participated in the transaction, but also has stated to BIS that it acted as Mahan Airways' sole booking agent for cargo and freight forwarding services in the UAE.

Moreover, in a January 24, 2011 filing in the U.K. court, Mahan Airways asserted that Aircraft 1-3 were not being used, but stated in pertinent part that the aircraft were being maintained in Iran especially “in an airworthy condition” and that, depending on the outcome of its U.K. court appeal, the aircraft “could immediately go back into service . . . on international routes into and out of Iran.” Mahan Airways' January 24, 2011 submission to U.K. Court of Appeal, at p. 25, ¶¶ 108, 110. This clearly stated intent, both on its own and in conjunction with Mahan Airways' prior misconduct and statements, demonstrated the need to renew the TDO in order to prevent imminent future violations. Two of these three 747s subsequently were removed from Iran and are no longer in Mahan Airways' possession. The third of these 747s, with Manufacturer's Serial Number (“MSN”) 23480 and Iranian tail number EP-MNE, remained in Iran under Mahan's control. Pursuant to Executive Order 13324, it was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (“SDGT”) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) on September 19, 2012.[10] Furthermore, as discussed in the February 4, 2013 Order, open source information indicated that this 747, painted in the livery and logo of Mahan Airways, had been flown between Iran and Syria, and was suspected of ferrying weapons and/or other equipment to the Syrian Government from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Open source information showed that this aircraft had flown from Iran to Syria as recently as June 30, 2013, and continues to show that it remains in active operation in Mahan Airways' fleet.

In addition, as first detailed in the July 1, 2011 and August 24, 2011 orders, and discussed in subsequent renewal orders in this matter, Mahan Airways also continued to evade U.S. export control laws by operating two Airbus A310 aircraft, bearing Mahan Airways' livery and logo, on flights into and out of Iran.[11] At the time of the July 1, 2011 and August 24, 2011 Orders, these Airbus A310s were registered in France, with tail numbers F-OJHH and F-OJHI, respectively.[12]

The August 2012 renewal order also found that Mahan Airways had acquired another Airbus A310 aircraft subject to the Regulations, with MSN 499 and Iranian tail number EP-VIP, in violation of the TDO and the Regulations.[13] On September 19, 2012, all three Airbus A310 aircraft (tail numbers F-OJHH, F-OJHI, and EP-VIP) were designated as SDGTs.[14]

The February 4, 2013 Order laid out further evidence of continued and additional efforts by Mahan Airways and other persons acting in concert with Mahan, including Kral Aviation and another Turkish company, to procure U.S.-origin engines—two GE CF6-50C2 engines, with MSNs 517621 and 517738, respectively—and other aircraft parts in violation of the TDO and the Regulations.[15] The February 4, 2013 renewal order also added Mehdi Bahrami as a related person in accordance with Section 766.23 of the Regulations. Bahrami, a Mahan Vice-President and the head of Mahan's Istanbul Office, also was involved in Mahan's acquisition of the original three Boeing 747s (Aircraft 1-3) that resulted in the original TDO, and has had a business relationship with Mahan dating back to 1997.

The July 31, 2013 Order detailed additional evidence obtained by OEE showing efforts by Mahan Airways to obtain another GE CF6-50C2 aircraft engine (MSN 528350) from the United States via Turkey. Multiple Mahan employees, including Mehdi Bahrami, were involved in or aware of matters related to the engine's arrival in Turkey from the United States, plans to visually inspect the engine, and prepare it for shipment from Turkey.

Mahan sought to obtain this U.S.-origin engine through Pioneer Logistics Havacilik Turizm Yonetim Danismanlik (“Pioneer Logistics”), an aircraft parts supplier located in Turkey, and its director/operator, Gulnihal Yegane, a Turkish national who previously had conducted Mahan related business with Mehdi Bahrami and Ali Eslamian. Moreover, as referenced in the July 31, 2013 Order, a sworn affidavit by Kosol Surinanda, also known as Kosol Surinandha, Managing Director of Mahan's General Sales Agent in Thailand, stated that the shares of Pioneer Logistics for which he was the listed owner were “actually the property of and owned by Mahan.” He further stated that he held “legal title to the shares until otherwise required by Mahan” but would “exercise the rights granted to [him] exactly and only as instructed by Mahan and [his] vote and/or decisions [would] only and exclusively reflect the wills and demands of Mahan[.]” [16]

The January 24, 2014 Order outlined OEE's continued investigation of Mahan Airways' activities and detailed an attempt by Mahan, which OEE Start Printed Page 2315thwarted, to obtain, via an Indonesian aircraft parts supplier, two U.S.-origin Honeywell ALF-502R-5 aircraft engines (MSNs LF5660 and LF5325), items subject to the Regulations, from a U.S. company located in Texas. An invoice of the Indonesian aircraft parts supplier dated March 27, 2013, listed Mahan Airways as the purchaser of the engines and included a Mahan ship-to address. OEE also obtained a Mahan air waybill dated March 12, 2013, listing numerous U.S.-origin aircraft parts subject to the Regulations—including, among other items, a vertical navigation gyroscope, a transmitter, and a power control unit—being transported by Mahan from Turkey to Iran in violation of the TDO.

The July 22, 2014 Order discussed open source evidence from the March-June 2014 time period regarding two BAE regional jets, items subject to the Regulations, that were painted in the livery and logo of Mahan Airways and operating under Iranian tail numbers EP-MOK and EP-MOI, respectively.[17] In addition, aviation industry resources indicated that these aircraft were obtained by Mahan Airways in late November 2013 and June 2014, from Ukrainian Mediterranean Airline, a Ukrainian airline that was added to BIS's Entity List (Supplement No. 4 to Part 744 of the Regulations) on August 15, 2011, for acting contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.[18] OEE's on-going investigation indicates that both BAE regional jets remain active in Mahan's fleet, with open source information showing EP-MOI being used on flights into and out of Iran as recently as January 12, 2015. The continued operation of these aircraft by Mahan Airways violates the TDO.

The January 16, 2015 Order detailed evidence of additional attempts by Mahan Airways to acquire items subject the Regulations in further violation of the TDO. Specifically, in March 2014, OEE became aware of an inertial reference unit bearing serial number 1231 (“the IRU”) that had been sent to the United States for repair. The IRU is subject to the Regulations, classified under ECCN 7A103, and controlled for missile technology reasons. Upon closer inspection, it was determined that IRU came from or had been installed on an Airbus A340 aircraft bearing MSN 056. Further investigation revealed that as of approximately February 2014, this aircraft was registered under Iranian tail number EP-MMB and had been painted in the livery and logo of Mahan Airways.

The January 16, 2015 Order also described related efforts by the Departments of Justice and Treasury to further thwart Mahan's illicit procurement efforts. Specifically, on August 14, 2014, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland filed a civil forfeiture complaint for the IRU pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 401(b) that resulted in the court issuing an Order of Forfeiture on December 2, 2014. EP-MMB remains listed as active in Mahan Airways' fleet.

Additionally, on August 29, 2014, OFAC blocked the property and interests in property of Asian Aviation Logistics of Thailand, a Mahan Airways affiliate or front company, pursuant to Executive Order 13224. In doing so, OFAC described Mahan Airways' use of Asian Aviation Logistics to evade sanctions by making payments on behalf of Mahan for the purchase of engines and other equipment.[19]

The May 21, 2015 modification order detailed the acquisition of two aircraft, specifically an Airbus A340 bearing MSN 164 and an Airbus A321 bearing MSN 550, that were purchased by Al Naser Airlines in late 2014/early 2015 and are currently located in Iran under the possession, control, and/or ownership of Mahan Airways.[20] The sales agreements for these two aircraft were signed by Ali Abdullah Alhay for Al Naser Airlines.[21] Payment information reveals that multiple electronic funds transfers (“EFT”) were made by Ali Abdullah Alhay and Bahar Safwa General Trading in order to acquire MSNs 164 and 550.

The May 21, 2015 modification order also laid out evidence showing the respondents' attempts to obtain other controlled aircraft, including aircraft physically located in the United States in similarly-patterned transactions during the same recent time period. Transactional documents involving two Airbus A320s bearing MSNs 82 and 99, respectively, again showed Ali Abdullah Alhay signing sales agreements for Al Naser Airlines.[22] A review of the payment information for these aircraft similarly revealed EFTs from Ali Abdullah Alhay and Bahar Safwa General Trading that follow the pattern described for MSNs 164 and 550, supra. MSNs 82 and 99 were detained by OEE Special Agents prior to their planned export from the United States.

The July 13, 2015 Order outlined evidence showing that Al Naser Airlines' attempts to acquire aircraft on behalf of Mahan Airways extended beyond MSNs 164 and 550 to include a total of nine aircraft.[23] Four of the aircraft, all of which are subject to the Regulations and were obtained by Start Printed Page 2316Mahan from Al Naser Airlines, had been issued the following Iranian tail numbers: EP-MMD (MSN 164), EP-MMG (MSN 383), EP-MMH (MSN 391) and EP-MMR (MSN 416), respectively.[24] Publicly available flight tracking information provided evidence that at the time of the July 13, 2015 renewal, both EP-MMH and EP-MMR were being actively flown on routes into and out of Iran in violation of the TDO and Regulations.[25]

The January 7, 2016 Order discussed evidence that Mahan Airways had begun actively flying EP-MMD, another of the aircraft Mahan had obtained from Al Naser Airlines (as discussed in the July 13, 2015 renewal order), on international routes into and out of Iran, including from/to Bangkok, Thailand. Additionally, the January 7, 2016 Order described publicly available aviation database and flight tracking information indicating that Mahan Airways was continuing its efforts to acquire Iranian tail numbers and press into active service under Mahan's livery and logo at least two more of the Airbus A340 aircraft it had obtained from or through Al Naser Airlines: EP-MME (MSN 371) and EP-MMF (MSN 376), respectively. Since January 2016, EP-MME has logged flights to and from Tehran, Iran involving various destinations, including Guangzhou, China and Dubai, United Arab Emirates in further violation of the TDO and the Regulations.

The July 7, 2016 Order described Mahan Airways' acquisition of a BAE Avro RJ-85 aircraft (MSN E2392) in violation of the TDO and its subsequent registration under Iranian tail number EP-MOR.[26] This information was corroborated by publicly available information on the Web site of Iran's civil aviation authority. The July 7, 2016 Order also outlined Mahan's continued operation of EP-MMF in violation of the TDO on routes from Tehran Iran to Beijing, China and Shanghai, China, respectively.

The December 13, 2016 renewal request discusses OEE's on-going concerns that Mahan Airways has continued to utilize aircraft, engines, and other aircraft parts that it previously acquired in violation of the TDO. This conduct includes, but is not limited to, operating aircraft originally obtained from or through Al Naser Airlines on international flights into and out of Iran. Publicly available flight tracking information shows that since December 20, 2016, EP-MMD (MSN 164), EP-MMF (MSN 376), and EP-MMH (MSN 391) has each been flown on routes into or out of Tehran, Iran, including from/to Beijing, China, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Istanbul, Turkey.[27] These flights into or out of Iran by Mahan Airways constitute additional violations of the TDO and the Regulations.[28]

Mahan's acquisition of these aircraft from or through Al Naser Airlines and their subsequent registration in Iran were detailed in the July 13, 2015 and January 7, 2016 renewal orders, respectively. Both Mahan Airways and Al Naser Airways remain subject to an on-going investigation by OEE.

C. Findings

Under the applicable standard set forth in Section 766.24 of the Regulations and my review of the entire record, I find that the evidence presented by BIS convincingly demonstrates that the denied persons have acted in violation of the Regulations and the TDO; that such violations have been significant, deliberate and covert; and that given the foregoing and the nature of the matters under investigation, there is a likelihood of future violations. Therefore, renewal of the TDO is necessary to prevent imminent violation of the Regulations and to give notice to companies and individuals in the United States and abroad that they should continue to cease dealing with Mahan Airways, Al Naser Airlines, and the other denied persons under the TDO in connection with export and reexport transactions involving items subject to the Regulations.

IV. Order

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:

FIRST, that MAHAN AIRWAYS, Mahan Tower, No. 21, Azadegan St., M.A. Jenah Exp. Way, Tehran, Iran; PEJMAN MAHMOOD KOSARAYANIFARD A/K/A KOSARIAN FARD, P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; MAHMOUD AMINI, G#22 Dubai Airport Free Zone, P.O. Box 393754, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mohamed Abdulla Alqaz Building, Al Maktoum Street, Al Rigga, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; KERMAN AVIATION A/K/A GIE KERMAN AVIATION, 42 Avenue Montaigne 75008, Paris, France; SIRJANCO TRADING LLC, P.O. Box 8709, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; ALI ESLAMIAN, 33 Cavendish Square, 4th Floor, London W1G0PW, United Kingdom, and 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road St. Johns Wood, London NW87RY, United Kingdom; MAHAN AIR GENERAL TRADING LLC, 19th Floor Al Moosa Tower One, Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai 40594, United Arab Emirates; SKYCO (UK) LTD., 33 Cavendish Square, 4th Floor, London, W1G 0PV, United Kingdom; EQUIPCO (UK) LTD., 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road, London, NW8 7RY, United Kingdom; and MEHDI BAHRAMI, Mahan Airways- Istanbul Office, Cumhuriye Cad. Sibil Apt No: 101 D:6, 34374 Emadad, Sisli Istanbul, Turkey; AL NASER AIRLINES A/K/A AL-NASER AIRLINES A/K/A ALNASER AIRLINES AND AIR FREIGHT LTD., Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq, and Al Amirat Street, Section 309, St. 3/H.20, Al Mansour, Baghdad, Iraq, and P.O. Box 28360, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and P.O. Box 911399, Amman 11191, Jordan; ALI ABDULLAH ALHAY A/K/A ALI ALHAY A/K/A ALI ABDULLAH AHMED ALHAY, Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Start Printed Page 2317Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq, and Anak Street, Qatif, Saudi Arabia 61177; BAHAR SAFWA GENERAL TRADING, P.O. Box 113212, Citadel Tower, Floor-5, Office #504, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and P.O. Box 8709, Citadel Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; SKY BLUE BIRD GROUP A/K/A SKY BLUE BIRD AVIATION A/K/A SKY BLUE BIRD LTD A/K/A SKY BLUE BIRD FZC, P.O. Box 16111, Ras Al Khaimah Trade Zone, United Arab Emirates; and ISSAM SHAMMOUT A/K/A MUHAMMAD ISAM MUHAMMAD ANWAR NUR SHAMMOUT A/K/A ISSAM ANWAR, Philips Building, 4th Floor, Al Fardous Street, Damascus, Syria, and Al Kolaa, Beirut, Lebanon 151515, and 17-18 Margaret Street, 4th Floor, London, W1W 8RP, United Kingdom, and Cumhuriyet Mah. Kavakli San St. Fulya, Cad. Hazar Sok. No.14/A Silivri, Istanbul, Turkey, and when acting for or on their behalf, any successors or assigns, agents, or employees (each a “Denied Person” and collectively the “Denied Persons”) may not, directly or indirectly, participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology (hereinafter collectively referred to as “item”) exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), or in any other activity subject to the EAR including, but not limited to:

A. Applying for, obtaining, or using any license, License Exception, or export control document;

B. Carrying on negotiations concerning, or ordering, buying, receiving, using, selling, delivering, storing, disposing of, forwarding, transporting, financing, or otherwise servicing in any way, any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the EAR, or in any other activity subject to the EAR; or

C. Benefitting in any way from any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the EAR, or in any other activity subject to the EAR.

SECOND, that no person may, directly or indirectly, do any of the following:

A. Export or reexport to or on behalf of a Denied Person any item subject to the EAR;

B. Take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by a Denied Person of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby a Denied Person acquires or attempts to acquire such ownership, possession or control;

C. Take any action to acquire from or to facilitate the acquisition or attempted acquisition from a Denied Person of any item subject to the EAR that has been exported from the United States;

D. Obtain from a Denied Person in the United States any item subject to the EAR with knowledge or reason to know that the item will be, or is intended to be, exported from the United States; or

E. Engage in any transaction to service any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States and which is owned, possessed or controlled by a Denied Person, or service any item, of whatever origin, that is owned, possessed or controlled by a Denied Person if such service involves the use of any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, servicing means installation, maintenance, repair, modification or testing.

THIRD, that, after notice and opportunity for comment as provided in section 766.23 of the EAR, any other person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to a Denied Person by affiliation, ownership, control, or position of responsibility in the conduct of trade or related services may also be made subject to the provisions of this Order.

FOURTH, that this Order does not prohibit any export, reexport, or other transaction subject to the EAR where the only items involved that are subject to the EAR are the foreign-produced direct product of U.S.-origin technology.

In accordance with the provisions of Sections 766.24(e) of the EAR, Mahan Airways, Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and/or Bahar Safwa General Trading may, at any time, appeal this Order by filing a full written statement in support of the appeal with the Office of the Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Coast Guard ALJ Docketing Center, 40 South Gay Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4022. In accordance with the provisions of Sections 766.23(c)(2) and 766.24(e)(3) of the EAR, Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard, Mahmoud Amini, Kerman Aviation, Sirjanco Trading LLC, Ali Eslamian, Mahan Air General Trading LLC, Skyco (UK) Ltd., Equipco (UK) Ltd., Mehdi Bahrami, Sky Blue Bird Group, and/or Issam Shammout may, at any time, appeal their inclusion as a related person by filing a full written statement in support of the appeal with the Office of the Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Coast Guard ALJ Docketing Center, 40 South Gay Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4022.

In accordance with the provisions of Section 766.24(d) of the EAR, BIS may seek renewal of this Order by filing a written request not later than 20 days before the expiration date. A renewal request may be opposed by Mahan Airways, Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and/or Bahar Safwa General Trading as provided in Section 766.24(d), by filing a written submission with the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement, which must be received not later than seven days before the expiration date of the Order.

A copy of this Order shall be provided to Mahan Airways, Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and Bahar Safwa General Trading and each related person, and shall be published in the Federal Register. This Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect for 180 days.

Start Signature

Dated: December 30, 2016.

Richard R. Majauskas,

Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  The Regulations, currently codified at 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2016), originally issued pursuant to the Export Administration Act of 1979. Since August 21, 2001, the Act has been in lapse and the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001 (3 CFR, 2001 Comp. 783 (2002)), which has been extended by successive Presidential Notices, the most recent being that of August 4, 2016 (81 FR 52,58748,223 (Aug. 8, 2016)), has continued the Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq. (2006 & Supp. IV 2010)).

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2.  See note 3, infra.

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3.  The July 7, 2016 Order was published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2016 (81 Fed Reg. 45276). The TDO previously had been renewed on September 17, 2008, March 16, 2009, September 11, 2009, March 9, 2010, September 3, 2010, February 25, 2011, August 24, 2011, February 15, 2012, August 9, 2012, February 4, 2013, July 31, 2013, January 24, 2014, July 22, 2014, January 16, 2015, July 13, 2015, and January 7, 2016. The August 24, 2011 renewal followed the modification of the TDO on July 1, 2011, which added Zarand Aviation as a respondent. The July 13, 2015 renewal followed the modification of the TDO on May 21, 2015, which added Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and Bahar Safwa General Trading as respondents. Each renewal or modification order was published in the Federal Register.

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4.  On August 13, 2014, BIS and Gatewick LLC resolved administrative charges against Gatewick, including a charge for acting contrary to the terms of a BIS denial order (15 CFR 764.2(k)). In addition to the payment of a civil penalty, the settlement includes a seven-year denial order. The first two years of the denial period are active, with the remaining five years suspended on condition that Gatewick LLC pays the civil penalty in full and timely fashion and commits no further violation of the Regulations during the seven-year denial period. The Gatewick LLC Final Order was published in the Federal Register on August 20, 2014. See 79 FR 49283 (Aug. 20, 2014).

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5.  As of July 22, 2014, Zarand Aviation was no longer subject to the TDO.

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6.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated Sky Blue Bird and Issam Shammout as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (“SDGTs”) on May 21, 2015, pursuant to Executive Order 13324, for “providing support to Iran's Mahan Air.” See 80 FR 30762 (May 29, 2015).

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7.  A party named or added as a related person may not oppose the issuance or renewal of the underlying temporary denial order, but may file an appeal of the related person determination in accordance with Section 766.23(c).

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8.  Engaging in conduct prohibited by a denial order violates the Regulations. 15 CFR 764.2(a) and (k).

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9.  The third Boeing 747 appeared to have undergone significant service maintenance and may not have been operational at the time of the March 9, 2010 renewal order.

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11.  The Airbus A310s are powered with U.S.-origin engines. The engines are subject to the EAR and classified under Export Control Classification (“ECCN”) 9A991.d. The Airbus A310s contain controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result are subject to the EAR. They are classified under ECCN 9A991.b. The export or reexport of these aircraft to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

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12.  OEE subsequently presented evidence that after the August 24, 2011 renewal, Mahan Airways worked along with Kerman Aviation and others to de-register the two Airbus A310 aircraft in France and to register both aircraft in Iran (with, respectively, Iranian tail numbers EP-MHH and EP-MHI). It was determined subsequent to the February 15, 2012 renewal order that the registration switch for these A310s was cancelled and that Mahan Airways then continued to fly the aircraft under the original French tail numbers (F-OJHH and F-OJHI, respectively). Both aircraft apparently remain in Mahan Airways' possession.

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13.  See note 12, supra.

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14.  See http://www.treasury.gov/​resource-center/​sanctions/​OFAC-Enforcement/​pages/​20120919.aspx. Mahan Airways was previously designated by OFAC as a SDGT on October 18, 2011. 77 FR 64,427 (October 18, 2011).

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15.  Kral Aviation was referenced in the February 4, 2013 Order as “Turkish Company No. 1.” Kral Aviation purchased a GE CF6-50C2 aircraft engine (MSN 517621) from the United States in July 2012, on behalf of Mahan Airways. OEE was able to prevent this engine from reaching Mahan by issuing a redelivery order to the freight forwarder in accordance with Section 758.8 of the Regulations. OEE also issued Kral Aviation a redelivery order for the second CF6-50C2 engine (MSN 517738) on July 30, 2012. The owner of the second engine subsequently cancelled the item's sale to Kral Aviation. In September 2012, OEE was alerted by a U.S. exporter that another Turkish company (“Turkish Company No. 2”) was attempting to purchase aircraft spare parts intended for re-export by Turkish Company No. 2 to Mahan Airways. See February 4, 2013 Order.

On December 31, 2013, Kral Aviation was added to BIS's Entity List, Supplement No. 4 to Part 744 of the Regulations. See 78 FR75458 (Dec. 12, 2013). Companies and individuals are added to the Entity List for engaging in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. See 15 CFR 744.11.

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16.  Pioneer Logistics, Gulnihal Yegane, and Kosol Surinanda also were added to the Entity List on December 12, 2013. See 78 FR 75458 (Dec. 12, 2013).

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17.  The BAE regional jets are powered with U.S.-origin engines. The engines are subject to the EAR and classified under ECCN 9A991.d. These aircraft contain controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result are subject to the EAR. They are classified under ECCN 9A991.b. The export or reexport of these aircraft to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

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18.  See 76 FR 50407 (Aug. 15, 2011). The July 22, 2014 TDO renewal order also referenced two Airbus A320 aircraft painted in the livery and logo of Mahan Airways and operating under Iranian tail numbers EP-MMK and EP-MML, respectively. OEE's investigation also showed that Mahan obtained these aircraft in November 2013, from Khors Air Company, another Ukrainian airline that, like Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines, was added to BIS's Entity List on August 15, 2011. Open source evidence indicates the two Airbus A320 aircraft may be been transferred by Mahan Airways to another Iranian airline in October 2014, and issued Iranian tail numbers EP-APE and EP-APF, respectively.

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19.  See http://www.treasury.gov/​resource-center/​sanctions/​OFAC-Enforcement/​Pages/​20140829.aspx. See 79 FR 55073 (Sep. 15, 2014). OFAC also blocked the property and property interests of Pioneer Logistics of Turkey on August 29, 2014. Id. Mahan Airways' use of Pioneer Logistics in an effort to evade the TDO and the Regulations was discussed in a prior renewal order, as summarized, supra, at 13-14. BIS added both Asian Aviation Logistics and Pioneer Logistics to the Entity List on December 12, 2013. See 78 FR 75458 (Dec. 12, 2013).

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20.  Both of these aircraft are powered by U.S.-origin engines that are subject to the Regulations and classified under ECCN 9A991.d. Both aircraft contain controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result are subject to the EAR regardless of their location. The aircraft are classified under ECCN 9A991.b. The export or re-export of these aircraft to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

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21.  Ali Abdullah Alhay is a 25% owner of Al Naser Airlines.

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22.  Both aircraft were physically located in the United States and therefore are subject to the Regulations pursuant to Section 734.3(a)(1). Moreover, these Airbus A320s are powered by U.S.-origin engines that are subject to the Regulations and classified under Export Control Classification Number ECCN 9A991.d. The Airbus A320s contain controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result are subject to the EAR regardless of their location. The aircraft are classified under ECCN 9A991.b. The export or re-export of these aircraft to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

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23.  This evidence included a press release dated May 9, 2015, that appeared on Mahan Airways' Web site and stated that Mahan “added 9 modern aircraft to its air fleet [,]” and that the newly acquired aircraft included eight Airbus A340s and one Airbus A321. See http://www.mahan.aero/​en/​mahan-air/​press-room/​44. The press release was subsequently removed from Mahan Airways' Web site. Publicly available aviation databases similarly showed that Mahan had obtained nine additional aircraft from Al Naser Airlines in May 2015, including MSNs 164 and 550. As also discussed in the July 13, 2015 renewal order, Sky Blue Bird Group, via Issam Shammout, was actively involved in Al Naser Airlines' acquisition of MSNs 164 and 550, and the attempted acquisition of MSNs 82 and 99 (which were detained by OEE).

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24.  The Airbus A340s are powered by U.S.-origin engines that are subject to the Regulations and classified under ECCN 9A991.d. The Airbus A340s contain controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result are subject to the EAR regardless of their location. The aircraft are classified under ECCN 9A991.b. The export or re-export of these aircraft to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

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25.  There is some publicly available information indicating that the aircraft Mahan Airways is flying under Iranian tail number EP-MMR is now MSN 615, rather than MSN 416. Both aircraft are Airbus A340 aircraft that Mahan acquired from Al Naser Airlines in violation of the TDO and the Regulations. Moreover, both aircraft were designated as SDGTs by OFAC on May 21, 2015, pursuant to Executive Order 13324. See 80 FR 30762 (May 29, 2015).

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26.  The BAE Avro RJ-85 is powered by U.S.-origin engines that are subject to the Regulations and classified under ECCN 9A991.d. The BAE Avro RJ-85 contains controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result is subject to the EAR regardless of its location. The aircraft is classified under ECCN 9A991.b, and its export or re-export to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

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27.  Publicly available flight tracking information shows that on December 22, 2016, EP-MMD (MSN 164) flew from Dubai, UAE to Tehran, Iran. Additionally, between December 20, 2016, and December 22, 2016, EP-MMF (MSN 376) flew on routes from Tehran, Iran to Beijing, China and Istanbul, Turkey, respectively. Similar flight tracking information shows that between December 26, 2016 and December 28, 2016, EP-MMH (MSN 391) flew on routes from Tehran, Iran to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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28.  OEE's December 13, 2016 request also raised its concerns about an Airbus A340 previously registered in the United States. The aircraft was recently exported from the United States to Indonesia contrary to filings made with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration indicating, first that the aircraft was being flown to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and then indicating that the aircraft should be de-registered in the U.S. because it was being exported to and going to be registered in Ukraine, neither of which has occurred.

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[FR Doc. 2017-00092 Filed 1-6-17; 8:45 am]

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