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.