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Important OFAC Iran FAQs update providing additional clarity as to what would happen in the event of a sanctions snapback under the JCPOA (M.4 and M.5)

Amidst increasing political tension and uncertainty as to the future of the landmark nuclear deal, OFAC issued on 15 December a further update to its “Frequently Asked Questions Relating to the Lifting of Certain U.S. Sanctions Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Implementation Day” (the FAQs), providing guidance for Non-US, Non-Iranian persons in the event that sanctions are put back into place. 
 
The original text of M.4 clarifying the US commitment that sanctions will not apply retrospectively to legitimate business concluded after Implementation Day but before a snapback occurs has been maintained. 
 
As regards M.5, additional text has been inserted, stipulating a 180-day period for non-US, non-Iranian persons and entities to wind down operations in or involving Iran and clarifying that payments under written contracts entered into prior to a snapback and repayments of loans or credit owed to non-US, non-Iranian persons are allowed: 
 
(…)As a general matter, in the event of a JCPOA sanctions snapback, the U.S. government would provide non-U.S., non-Iranian persons a 180-day period to wind down operations in or business involving Iran that was consistent with the U.S. sanctions lifting under the JCPOA and undertaken pursuant to a written contract or written agreement entered into prior to snapback.
 
In the event that a non-U.S., non-Iranian person is owed payment at the time of snapback for goods or services fully provided or delivered to an Iranian counterparty prior to snapback pursuant to a written contract or written agreement entered into prior to snapback and such activities were consistent with U.S. sanctions in effect at the time of delivery or provision, the U.S. government would allow the non-U.S., non-Iranian person to receive payment for those goods or services according to the terms of the written contract or written agreement. Similarly, if a non-U.S., non-Iranian person is owed repayment for loans or credits extended to an Iranian counterparty prior to snapback pursuant to a written contract or written agreement entered into prior to snapback and such activities were consistent with U.S. sanctions in effect at the time the loans or credits were extended, the U.S. government would allow the non-U.S., non-Iranian person to receive repayment of the related debt or obligation according to the terms of the written contract or written agreement. This allowance is designed for non-U.S., non-Iranian
parties to be made whole for debts and obligations owed or due to them for goods or services fully provided or delivered or loans or credit extended to an Iranian party prior to snapback. Any payments would need to be consistent with U.S. sanctions, including that payments could not involve U.S. persons or the U.S. financial system, unless the transactions are exempt from regulation or authorized by OFAC.
 
To the extent that snapback results in the revocation of general or specific licenses issued by OFAC, the U.S. government would, consistent with the conditions described above, provide U.S. persons and U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign entities a 180-day period to wind down operations in or business involving Iran conducted pursuant to an OFAC authorization, and to receive payments according to the terms of the written contract or written agreement entered into prior to snapback for goods or services fully provided or delivered pursuant to an OFAC authorization prior to snapback.
 
With the exception of goods or services necessary to wind down operations in or business involving Iran during the 180-day period, the provision or delivery of additional goods or services and/or the extension of additional loans or credits to an Iranian counterparty after snapback, including pursuant to written contracts or written agreements entered into prior to snapback, may result in the imposition of U.S. sanctions unless such activities are exempt from regulation, authorized by OFAC, or not otherwise sanctionable. 
The U.S. government would evaluate matters falling outside the above parameters on a case-by-case basis. (…)

 
The latest updated FAQs can be downloaded here
 
General License J-1
 
Additionally, OFAC issued General License J-1 amending General Licence J.  General License J-1 authorises the re-exportation of certain civil aircraft to Iran, to allow the temporary re-export of eligible aircrafts that involve code sharing arrangements. The amended licence can be downloaded here.


Category: News


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