Economy, Sci & Tech

US Company Fined for Outsourcing Work to Iran

US Company Fined for  Outsourcing Work to IranUS Company Fined for  Outsourcing Work to Iran

A US-based company has been fined $82,260 by the US’ Office of Foreign Assets Control for violating sanctions imposed on Iran.

In the latest OFAC release, Massachusetts-based Blue Robin, Inc. was fined for violating the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR).

The allegations center around Blue Robin’s outsourcing of about $205,000 of work to an Iranian technology company named PersiaBME.  The company came a cropper after the JCPOA deal on July 14, as it seems the deal is not finalized until congress and other countries ratify the historic deal. This formality led the company to believe they could conduct a large-scale contract with the Iranian firm.

This small formality should be obvious, but with all the news of various foreign delegations traveling to Iran to seal business deals and the prospective return of frozen funds to Iran, it is understandable that some may think the sanctions have been lifted. Most important to US persons and entities is the fact that the sanctions’ regime will remain largely intact even after the deal for a few months.

US companies cannot outsource to Iran currently.  It is prohibited by the ITSR, as it constitutes the importation of a prohibited service. There are a few minor exceptions to the prohibition on the importation of services, but they are very narrow and have many limitations.