OFAC Details Permissible Information Technology Exports To Iran

The Wall Street Journal on March 20, 2012 released the following:

“By C.M. Matthews

The U.S. Treasury Department issued guidance and licensing information Tuesday on Internet, social media, software and other information products that can be exported to Iran.

Following the disputed Iranian presidential election in 2009, U.S. officials took note of the importance social media and other technologies played in organizing opposition protests to the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In March 2010, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control authorized U.S. exports to Iran of certain services and software related Internet communications.

Tuesday’s guidance clarifies what technologies can be sent to Iran. The permitted exports are broken into eight categories:

  • Personal Communications (e.g., Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Microsoft Live, Skype (non-fee based))
  • Updates to Personal Communications Software
  • Personal Data Storage (e.g., Dropbox)
  • Browsers/Updates (e.g., Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer)
  • Plug-ins (e.g., Flashplayer, Shockwave, Java)
  • Document Readers (e.g., Acrobat Readers)
  • Free Mobile Apps Related to Personal Communications
  • RSS Feed Readers and Aggregators (e.g., Google Feed Burner)

OFAC also said it is clarifying its existing licensing policy to make it more “favorable” for U.S. persons seeking approval to export items “that directly benefit the Iranian people” not covered by current regulations.

“It is essential that people have the freedom to seek, receive and impart information through a variety of mediums, including the Internet,” the Treasury Department said in a news release. “By jamming satellites and censoring the Internet, the Iranian regime has erected an electronic curtain that prevents the Iranian people from communicating with the outside world and with each other.””


Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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