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Press Center

 Treasury Issues General License to Aid Iranian Earthquake Victims


8/21/2012

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the issuance of a temporary general license to ease financial transactions related to earthquake relief in Iran.  Since the August 11, 2012 earthquake that hit northwestern Iran, the United States has made it clear that it would offer assistance to the Iranian people as they recover and rebuild.  The Iranian government has not accepted the U.S. offer of assistance, but non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been assisting in the relief efforts. To assist their efforts, OFAC issued a temporary general license today, which authorizes, for the next 45 days, NGOs with 501(c)(3) status to collect funds to be used in direct support of humanitarian relief and reconstruction activities in response to the earthquake. The general license is a demonstration of the Administration’s commitment to supporting the Iranian people affected by this tragedy, and responds to the American people’s desire to provide immediate assistance.  

Under the general license, which will remain in effect until October 5, 2012, an NGO can transfer funds up to $300,000 during the 45-day period to Iran to be used for humanitarian relief and reconstruction activities related to the earthquake response. NGOs interested in transferring more than $300,000 during the 45-day period may apply for a specific license.  It is important to note that the general license specifically forbids any dealings or involvement with individuals or entities designated for support for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or terrorism, such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as listed on the Treasury Department’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List).

Donations of food and medicine to Iran already do not require a license from OFAC.  These donations, when intended to be used to relieve human suffering, are exempt from the sanctions on trade between the U.S. and Iran, as long as the donations are not being sent to the Government of Iran or any Iranian individual or entity on the Treasury Department’s SDN List.  For all practical purposes, such donations to the Iranian people, including transactions needed to ship permissible donations, can occur without a specific license from OFAC.

View today’s general license here.

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