Impact of Sanctions Against Iran

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The Asian Law Caucus has released a Know Your Rights publication on the Iranian Transactions Regulations (“Iran Sanctions”), which are the most relevant sanctions program restricting commercial and financial dealings with Iran. The publication, available in both English and Farsi, provides a general guide to the scope of the prohibited and permissible transactions under Iran Sanctions and illustrates the numerous ways these regulations impact Iranian Americans. The Farsi-language guide, released in February 2012, is an exact translation of the May 2011 English-language guide.

For a number of years, the United States government has imposed broad sanctions against Iran for various U.S. foreign policy reasons.  Whether or not these sanctions are an effective tool in this effort, there can be no doubt that the Iran Sanctions severely restrict the ability of Iranian Americans to engage in personal, family, business, and charitable transactions involving Iran.

The Asian Law Caucus and many national Iranian-American membership organizations are increasingly receiving inquiries from concerned community members about the Iran Sanctions and their potential impact.  Some want to know if and how they can sell their property in Iran, transfer their savings or retirement funds to the United States, or support their parents or other family members in Iran.  Others want to provide for orphans, donate money to Iranian charities, or engage in other charitable deeds.  Few understand the complex compliance requirements posed by the Iran Sanctions and the severe penalties, including criminal prosecution and heavy fines, that can be imposed for even inadvertent violations of these regulations.

The recent passage of further sanctions legislation has made navigating the Iran Sanctions more complicated than ever before.  Now more than ever, it is critical for community members to seek an attorney’s advice before conducting transactions or affairs that may run afoul of this regulatory system.  Although ALC hopes this guide will provide useful information about applicable requirements to the community, it is only intended as a general discussion of the Sanctions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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