General Question

Mamradpivo's avatar

Is an American allowed to conduct business with Iranian companies from abroad?

Asked by Mamradpivo (9618 points ) June 18th, 2011

Let’s say I’m an American, working for a European company. The European company doesn’t face the same restrictions to trading with Iran (right or wrong) that an American company does. If I handle exports for said European company, does my status as an American citizen mean that I’m subject to the American sanctions against Iran?

As an example, while my colleagues can freely travel to Cuba, I obviously can’t. Is it the same with commercial sanctions?

Caveat: I’m well aware that the government of Iran is, at best, comprised of reactionary assholes. I’m not asking about the morality of anyone involved (US, Iran, EU, etc). I’m just curious whether I ought to stick to my gut feeling and ask a colleague to handle a prospective account in Iran.

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4 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I would say the best thing would be to discuss the issue with your company’s legal department or contact the U.S. State department, though your company’s legal department would be the best thing. Could be a lot of trouble for you if you go the wrong way.

_zen_'s avatar

If you give up your American citizenship.

Lightlyseared's avatar

You would be subject to the laws of the country you’re working in. If it is legal in that country for a company to conduct business with Iranian companys then you should be fine.

Also Cuba’s great. It’s a shame you can’t go.

WasCy's avatar

@Lightlyseared has the right response. “The United States” has a trade embargo with Iran. But that doesn’t mean that Americans working for foreign countries can’t participate.

On the other hand, if you worked for a Canadian company, for example, and part of your “trade” with Cuba involved travel to Cuba, then you could not legally travel from a US port of exit to that country. (You may visit Cuba, but you can’t fly or sail there – legally – from a US airport or port. And if you run into political / criminal / legal difficulties while there, you’d have to rely upon the best efforts of a third party government to intervene on your behalf.)

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