In Response to Recent President's Executive Order Imposing New, Stricter Sanctions on Iran, Attorney Aria Vatankhah Advises Iranian-American Community on OFAC Regulations

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According to Attorney Aria Vatankhah, trade between the United States and Iran is subject to certain restrictions under U.S. law that even make it difficult for goods and services relating to humanitarian assistance to be exported to Iran.

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Aria Vatankhah

It is important that Iranian Americans be fully aware of OFAC Regulations and legal restrictions it imposes on trade with Iran.

Attorney Aria Vatankhah states that U.S. economic and trade sanctions on Iran are administered and enforced by the United States Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and penalties for violating the OFAC Regulations, even for humanitarian activities, is sharp. Accordingly, given the continuing strong ties between many in Iran, it is important that Iranian Americans be fully aware of OFAC Regulations and legal restrictions it imposes on trade with Iran.

The United States Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) administers the nation’s sanctions programs through the burden of both criminal and civil penalties and the blocking of property and benefit under the authority of the United States.

According to OFAC's resource center, "The President has signed a new Executive Order blocking the property and interests in property of the Government of Iran and Iranian financial institutions. The E.O. requires U.S. persons to block all property and interests in property of the Government of Iran (including the Central Bank of Iran), of all Iranian financial institutions, and of all persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be owned by, controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of any of those parties, when that property comes within the United States or within the possession or control of U.S. persons."

Iranian Lawyer, Aria Vatankhah says that the rules and measures for complying with these sanctions are difficult and tiresome. Individuals who are in conflict with OFAC administered sanctions, possibly have no idea that they or their business are at the risk of OFAC freezes their assets, fines them, or worst of all, face criminal charges. Given the wide application of these regulations, individuals and businesses can be targeted by simple involvement with others who have been red-flagged by OFAC. A landlord renting property to someone who has been placed on OFAC’s Specially Designated National List, or a foreign lawyer providing legal services to a sanctioned, are at risk.

Aria states that if a U.S. person who owns property or interests under the authority of the United States has dealings with anyone from the following countries: Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or is possibly associated with individuals or entities engaged in terrorism, then that person may be at risk.

OFAC Attorney, Aria Vatankhah strongly recommends that Iranian Americans should follow OFAC regulations if they do any business with Iran. Correct compliance with the sanctions can be accomplished if knowledgeable and experienced attorney is retained.

Aria Law Group has the compelling experience in applying general and specific OFAC license specially for Iranians, when it is required by different agencies.OFAC matters are extremely complicated, often requiring specialized knowledge of very ambiguous and complex regulations and processes. Only a lawyer with extensive experience in dealing with OFAC will be able to effectively represent a client in such matters. Aria Law Group has the experience and knowledge to effectively represent clients before OFAC.

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