The US will not stand in the way of business activities in Iran that are consistent with the JCPOA, US Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin said.
He made the remarks at the Atlantic Council and The Iran Project Symposium on December 17.
According to the US Department of Treasury, Szubin said that after the nuclear deal’s implementation, for the first time in many years, non-US persons will be able to purchase unlimited amounts of crude oil from Iran without the risk of US sanctions. And for the first time in many years, we will not sanction foreign investment by non-US persons in Iran’s energy sector.
The official said in the meantime that not all of Iran’s economic problems are traceable to sanctions.
We are on the road to Implementation Day. But we are not there yet, he added.
Before Implementation Day, companies can prepare for, but not consummate, trade that will no longer be sanctionable after Implementation Day. This means that non-US companies and individuals can engage in exploratory discussions, in Iran or elsewhere, about the possibilities of conducting business in Iran after Implementation Day, Szubin underlined.
Still, preparing for business involving Iran is different than finalizing that business. Entering into contracts involving Iran prior to Implementation Day may be sanctionable. For this reason, I would urge anyone interested in doing future business with Iran to seek expert guidance, he said.
Szubin added that to that end, OFAC will publish clear and detailed guidance to ensure that the business community fully understands the sanctions that are due to be lifted on Implementation Day – and the non-nuclear sanctions that will remain in place. If questions remain, people should bring them to OFAC. We are here to help.
This all does not mean that companies must avoid Iran. The US will not stand in the way of business activities in Iran that are consistent with the JCPOA, he added.
Szubin said that the US will continue to support the work of our partners in the private sector in Iran. But ultimately, if Iran wants to benefit fully from new, long-term relationships with international financial institutions, it is up to Iran to make the necessary financial reforms.
He said that first, we will authorize the export, re-export, sale or lease of US-origin commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran, which will help improve the safety of commercial air travel for every-day Iranians.
Second, we will authorize the importation of Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs into the United States, Szubin said.
He noted that we will authorize foreign subsidiaries owned or controlled by US companies to engage in certain activities with Iran or Iranian persons that are consistent with the JCPOA and US law.
These three areas come on top of the limited trade with Iran that we have long authorized, he said.
‘For many years, we have allowed US companies to export certain food, medicine, medical supplies, and agricultural commodities to Iran. We have also licensed the export of goods that help the people of Iran communicate more freely,’ Szubin noted.
He said that the US is now moving forward to implement the deal. Coordinating closely with our international and domestic partners, the United States will work to ensure that Iran fulfills its commitments, and ‘we will ensure that we fulfill ours’.
We hope that Iran does so, and that their civil society can see the potential economic benefits that are on the table. It is not our policy to punish or deter business activity in Iran that is consistent with the JCPOA, Szubin noted.
Citing the US long time accusations against Iran about human rights violation and sponsoring terrorism, Szubin said the US will continue its pressures on Iran in other areas.