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How can a US citizen legally borrow money from family who lives in Iran with all the current sanctions in place?

Houston, TX |

I read an article on OFAC about "non-commercial family remittance" being allowed for transactions between Iran and US. So If I want to borrow money from my family in Iran to help me start a business, does that fall under the "non-commercial family remittance" program allowed by OFAC? If not, what is the best way to move forward with this task? I greatly appreciate any feedback.

Also, would the transfer have be done via wire to a US financial institution from a non-Iranian financial institution?

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Attorney answers 6

Posted

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Jonathan H Levy

Jonathan H Levy

Posted

Hire a lawyer?

Posted

You need to consult with an attorney specializing in cross-boarder business transactions with Ira. I suggest contacting large law firms. Regards.

Posted

The situation is particularly complex. There are strict regulations that have to be observed. This is something that needs to be solved with the hiring of a transnational attorney. Best

This reply is offered for educational purpose only. You should seek the advice of an attorney. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the undisclosed individual asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York Law unless stated otherwise. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Service guidance, be advised that any federal tax advice contained in this written or electronic communication is not intended or written to be used and it cannot be used by any person or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding any tax penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service or any other U.S. Federal taxing authority or agency or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Posted

OFAC penalties are very harsh. This would require a careful look at both your situation and the rules as to Iran. Using a bank complicates matters as well.

This is not legal advice but a general comment on society based on a limited set of hypothetical circumstances. No one should act or refrain from acting based on these comments without seeking appropriately licensed legal or professional advice. The author disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on his comments.

Posted

Look for attorney in your area specializing in Export Compliance issues. The name is a misnomer because you are not exporting anything to Iran however the firms that specializing in export compliance are familiar with OFAC and other government regulations controlling transfer of funds from certain countries. My firm handles such transactions however it is best to find local help in these cases.

Posted

Generally, OFAC has general licenses (that cover a class of activities) and specific licenses (that require specific approval). By looking at the non-commercial family remittance, you are trying to fit under one of the two applicable general licenses OFAC issued last year after the Iran sanctions were amended. General licenses have very specific requirements. I would need a lot more information to make a conclusion, but it does not appear that this transaction would qualify.

I do agree with my colleagues that it is best to get an attorney who handles US sanctions law. Penalties for violating US sanctions are very high, which makes "do it yourself" risky in this body of law. Your attorney would gather all of the facts to see whether this fits under an OFAC general license or could help you apply for a specific license. My firm handles this type of work. Please feel free to call or email me, if you would like.

Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship.  Do not rely on the opinions expressed in this post without discussing them with your attorney. Legal advice must be tailored to unique circumstances and this post is for general purposes only. 

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