Frequently Asked Questions

855. How will transactions related to official activities of international organizations be treated for purposes of secondary sanctions to the extent that the Iranian financial sector or Iranian financial institutions sanctioned under Executive Order (E.O.) 13902 are involved?  

Answer

Pursuant to Section 12 of E.O. 13902, the prohibitions of E.O. 13902 do not 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.  In addition, transactions and activities involving an Iranian financial institution (Iranian FI) blocked under E.O. 13902 are authorized under General License (GL) L to the extent they are authorized, exempt, or otherwise not prohibited by the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR).  Section 560.539 of the ITSR authorizes transactions for the official business of certain international organizations, including the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies, Programmes, Funds, and Related Organizations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Labor Organization, and the World Health Organization. 

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, Treasury will generally view the following additional transactions by non-U.S. persons involving Iranian FIs blocked solely pursuant to E.O. 13599 and E.O. 13902 or the Iranian financial sector, as non-sanctionable:

  • The operating expenses or other official business of missions in Iran of international organizations in which Iran is a member or participant, or for the personal use of employees of the missions; and
  • The operating expenses or other official business associated with the Government of Iran’s missions to international organizations in which Iran is a member or participant, or for the personal use of employees of the missions, including the provision of routine goods and services to such missions or their employees by non-U.S. persons.

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