Treasury Guidance Exempts For Profit Companies’ Interests from Iranian Sanctions

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Date: 
September 5, 2012

On Aug. 15, 2012, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued guidance stating participation by U.S. companies in international standards development activities that include Iranian entities do not violate U.S. sanctions. According to OFAC, the standards development activities either fall within the “informational materials” exemption to the sanctions regulations, or are authorized under a general license which allows for collaboration on written publications. On closer inspection the guidance shows, according to ExportLawBlog, “an unusual interpretation” of OFAC’s own rules. The guidance was in response to a March request by the American National Standards Institute, which sought protections on behalf of American oil and gas companies engaging in international programs that include Iranian entities.