Issue 4, 2012. August-September


IRAN SANCTIONS: A CHEAT SHEET FOR BUSINESS asked John Ashworth, the deputy chief of political and economic affairs and senior economic/commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, what businesses in Georgia should know about the latest wave of sanctions against dealings with Iranian companies and banks.

"The United States and the international community are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," Ashworth said in an email interview.

"The United States and our partners have implemented a number of sanction measures against Iran. Many of these are focused on Iran's energy and financial sectors- two areas highlighted in United Nations Security Council Resolution1929 as possible avenues used by Iran to fund its illicit nuclear activities."

Sanctions include, but are not excluded to, some types of transactions with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), and transactions with "designated Iranian banks."

Providing goods and services to Iran's energy and petrochemical sectors is also illegal under the sanctions.

"All of these sanctions come with significant consequences for the businesses involved, including potentially being cut off from the U.S. financial system or from other interactions with the United States," he noted.

The U.S. Treasury outlines specific categories of business dealings that are prohibited by the sanctions, including the conducting or facilitating of "any significant transactions with a U.S.-designated Iranian financial institution or with the CBI - whether for the purchase of petroleum or otherwise - unless the transaction is for the sale of food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran."

Banks and other private financial institutions in the United States and abroad, including central banks or foreign state-owned or -controlled banks, "potentially face sanctions" if they are involved in "significant transactions" for the "purchase of Iranian petroleum or petroleum products with a U.S.-designated Iranian financial institution or with the CBI."

More information about the sanctions is available at: CISADA: The New U.S. Sanctions on Iran.