Frequently Asked Questions

847. As a result of the sanctions on the Iranian financial sector and certain Iranian financial institutions (Iranian FIs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13902, do non-U.S. persons risk exposure to sanctions for continuing to engage in previously non-sanctionable trade involving the Iranian financial sector or E.O. 13902-sanctioned Iranian FIs, even after the end of the 45-day wind-down period?

Answer

For purposes of E.O. 13902, OFAC would not generally view transactions or activities by non-U.S. persons to be sanctionable if they are consistent with activities that would be permissible if conducted by U.S. persons.  As noted in FAQ 842, General License (GL) L authorizes U.S. persons to engage in transactions and activities involving Iranian FIs blocked pursuant to E.O. 13902 that are authorized, exempt, or otherwise excluded from prohibition under the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR).  In addition, pursuant to Sections 11 and 12 of E.O. 13902, respectively, the prohibitions of E.O. 13902 do not apply:  (i) with respect to any person for conducting or facilitating a transaction for the provision (including any sale) of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran; or (ii) to transactions for the conduct of the official business of the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programmes, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.

For purposes of secondary sanctions, as described in FAQ 844, non-U.S. persons are not exposed to sanctions for engaging in transactions and activities involving the Iranian financial sector or an Iranian FI blocked pursuant to E.O. 13902 that would be authorized for U.S. persons under GL L.  

In addition, OFAC would generally view as non-sanctionable any transactions or activities by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and other non-U.S. persons that involve the Iranian financial sector or Iranian FIs sanctioned solely pursuant to E.O. 13599 and E.O. 13902, and that fall within the categories set forth below, to the extent such transactions or activities are not already exempt or otherwise excepted from sanctions:

  • The sale, supply, or transfer of goods and services to Iran – as well as intermediate goods used for manufacturing of such goods in Iran – solely for use in Iran and not for export from Iran, to ensure the protection of life, health, and safety, such as: products used for sanitation, hygiene, medical care, medical safety, and manufacturing safety, including soap, hand sanitizer, ventilators, respirators, personal hygiene products, diapers, infant and childcare items, personal protective equipment, manufacturing safety systems, safety devices, alarm systems, and ventilation systems.
  • Arrangement and facilitation of travel into, out of, and within Iran, by air, sea, or land, including travel service providers and air carrier services;
  • The provision of medical or healthcare services to persons in Iran or ordinarily resident in Iran; and
  • The provision of educational services by academic institutions outside Iran to persons in Iran or ordinarily resident in Iran.

Please note that the guidance above applies only with respect to transactions or activities involving the Iranian financial sector or Iranian FIs sanctioned solely pursuant to E.O. 13599 and E.O. 13902. These transactions and activities should not involve persons designated on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) in connection with Iran’s support for international terrorism or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), unless exempt or otherwise permitted.

Date Released
December 7, 2020