Frequently Asked Questions

847. As a result of the sanctions on the Iranian financial sector and 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 permissible 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 (ITSR).  In addition, pursuant to Section 11 of E.O. 13902, the prohibitions of E.O. 13902 do not apply 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, nor do the prohibitions apply 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.

OFAC continues to analyze whether select types of transactions and activities may, nonetheless, be non-significant and, thus, not sanctionable even after the end of the wind-down period.  OFAC anticipates issuing additional guidance regarding the scope of transactions and activity by non-U.S. persons involving the Iranian financial sector and Iranian FIs sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 13902 that will become sanctionable after November 22, 2020.  For example, OFAC anticipates issuing guidance that outlines expected regulatory definitions for the Iranian financial sector, as well as goods and services used in connection with the sector, for purposes of evaluating sanctions risk pursuant to E.O. 13902.  

Consistent with previous guidance issued in connection with E.O. 13902, foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and other non-U.S. persons would not generally risk exposure to U.S. sanctions for engaging in transactions for the purpose of supporting the sale, supply, or transfer of certain goods and services to Iran or 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, 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.

Please note that sanctions in connection with other sectors of the Iranian economy identified under E.O. 13902 remain in effect unless otherwise permitted.

Date Released
October 8, 2020