Executive Order 12279
Executive Order 12279 of January 19, 1981
Direction to Transfer Iranian Government Assets Held by Domestic Banks
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Section 203 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702), Section 301 of Title 3 of the United States Code, Section 1732 of Title 22 of the United States Code, and Section 301 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1631), in view of the continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States upon which I based my declarations of national emergency in Executive Order 12170, issued November 14, 1979, and in Executive Order 12211, issued April 17, 1980, in order to implement agreements with the Government of Iran, as reflected in Declarations of the Government of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria dated January 19, 1981, relating to the release of U.S. diplomats and nationals being held as hostages and to the resolution of claims of United States nationals against Iran, and to begin the process of normalization of relations between the United States and Iran and in which Iran and the United States instruct and require that the assets described in this Order shall be transferred as set forth below by the holders of such assets, it is hereby ordered that as of the effective date of this Order:
- Any branch or office of a United States bank or subsidiary thereof, which branch or office is located outside the territory of the United States and which on or after 8:10 a.m. E.S.T. on November 14, 1979 (a) has been or is in possession of funds or securities legally or beneficially owned by the Government of Iran or its agencies, instrumentalities, or controlled entities, or (b) has carried or is carrying on its books deposits standing to the credit of or beneficially owned by such Government, agencies, instrumentalities, or controlled entities, is licensed, authorized, directed, and compelled to transfer such funds, securities, and deposits, including interest from November 14, 1979, at commercially reasonable rates, to the account of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the Bank of England, to be held or transferred as directed by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury shall determine when the transfers required by this section shall take place. The funds, securities and deposits described in this section shall be further transferred as provided for in the Declaration of the Government of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria and its Annex.
- Any banking institution subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that has executed a set-off on or after November 14, 1979, at 8:10 a.m. E.S.T. against Iranian funds, securities, or deposits referred to in section 1-101 is hereby licensed, authorized, directed, and compelled to cancel such set-off and to transfer all funds, securities, and deposits which have been subject to such set-off, including interest from November 14, 1979, at commercially reasonable rates, pursuant to the provisions of section 1-101 of this Order.
- If the funds, securities, and deposits described in section 1-101 are not promptly transferred to the control of the Government of Iran, such funds, securities, and deposits shall be returned to the banking institutions holding them on the effective date of this Order and the set-offs described in section 1-102 shall be in force as if this Order had not been issued and the status of all such funds, securities, deposits and set-offs shall be status qua ante.
|(a)||All licenses and authorizations for acquiring or exercising any right, power, or privilege, by court order, attachment, or otherwise, including the license contained in Section 535.504 of the Iranian Assets Control Regulations, with respect to the properties described in Sections 1-101 and 1-102 of this Order are revoked and withdrawn.|
|(b)||All rights, powers, and privileges relating to the properties described in Sections 1-101 and 1-102 of this Order and which derive from any attachment, injunction, other like proceedings or process, or other action in any litigation after November 14, 1979, at 8:10 a.m. E.S.T., including those derived from Section 535.504 of the Iranian Assets Control Regulations, other than rights, powers, and privileges of the Government of Iran and its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities, whether acquired by court order or otherwise, are nullified, and all persons claiming any such right, power, or privilege are hereafter barred from exercising the same.|
|(c)||All persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are prohibited from acquiring or exercising any right, power, or privilege, whether by court order or otherwise, with respect to the properties (and any income earned thereon) referred to in Sections 1-101 and 1-102 of this Order.|
- Compliance with this Order, any other Executive Order licensing, authorizing, directing, or compelling the transfer of the assets described in Sections 1-101 and 1-102 of this Order, or any regulations, instructions, or directions issued thereunder shall to the extent thereof be a full acquittance and discharge for all purposes of the obligation of the person making the same. No person shall be held liable in any court for or with respect to anything done or omitted in good faith in connection with the administration of, or pursuant to and in reliance on, such orders, regulations, instructions, or directions.
- The Attorney General shall seek to intervene in any litigation within the United States which arises out of this Order and shall, among other things, defend the legality of, and all actions taken pursuant to, each of its provisions.
- The Secretary of the Treasury is delegated and authorized to exercise all functions vested in the President by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) to carry out the purposes of this Order.
- This Order shall be effective immediately.