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What does designation as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ by the US mean?

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Effects of policies of developed nations.

 

Context:

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked President Joe Biden to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

  • This is perhaps the harshest suite of sanctions available with the United States against Russia.

 

Countries on the list:

As of now, there are four countries on the list of state sponsors of terrorism – Syria, Iran, North Korea and Cuba.

 

Designation as state sponsor of terrorism:

The US Secretary of State has the power to designate countries that “have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism” as “State Sponsors of Terrorism”.

 

The US can place four categories of sanctions on countries that are on this list:

  1. Restrictions on US foreign assistance.
  2. A ban on defence exports and sales.
  3. Certain controls over exports of dual use items.
  4. Miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.

Sanctions can be placed on countries and persons that engage in certain trade with designated countries.

 

Impact of designation:

  1. Freezing of the country’s assets in the United States, including real estate.
  2. Requiring the US to veto efforts of that country to secure World Bank or International Monetary Fund loans.
  3. Prohibiting a wide variety of dual-use exports.
  4. Requiring the US to take economic action against countries that continue to do business with the targeted country.

 

How can a country be delisted?

A country can be delisted if it is deemed by the US to have reformed its behaviour and returned to complying with the requirements of international law and conduct, or if it has undergone a change of leadership.

  • Sudan, Iraq and South Yemen have been removed from the list.

Sources: Indian Express.