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  1. #1
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    Hosting someone from Iran - State Department Issues

    There is a company from Iran that wants to host with us. Are there any State Department issues that would restrict us from giving technical expertise or technology to someone from a country whose political environment is anti-U.S.?
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  2. #2
    As far as I'm aware, trade with Iran is prohibited ?
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  3. #3
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    I cannot see how web hosting should be prohibited, though if they are in Iran it would make more sense to get a European host, or maybe even a host in a non-hostile (to them) country like Canada.
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  4. #4
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    Legally a United States company cannot provide a service/trade with anybody from Iran last time I checked.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Legally a United States company cannot provide a service/trade with anybody from Iran last time I checked.
    Why? Are there any more countries that are prohibited ?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wajdan View Post
    Why? Is there any more companies that are prohibited ?
    http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforce.../iran/iran.pdf

    In general, a person may not export from the U.S. any goods,
    technology or services, if that person knows or has reason to know
    such items are intended specifically for supply, transshipment or
    reexportation to Iran.
    Read the whole document though.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Legally a United States company cannot provide a service/trade with anybody from Iran last time I checked.
    On US or Iranian soil?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Legally a United States company cannot provide a service/trade with anybody from Iran last time I checked.
    Here is the generalized restriction that applies:
    EXPORTS TO IRAN - In general, unless licensed by OFAC, goods,
    technology (including technical data or other information subject to
    Export Administration Regulations), or services may not be exported,
    reexported, sold or supplied, directly or indirectly, from the United
    States or by a U.S. person, wherever located, to Iran or the
    Government of Iran.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wajdan View Post
    Why? Are there any more countries that are prohibited ?
    Yes, there are others. I can't find the link anymore but I know for example, Syria was on the list. Maybe it's changed a bit but not certain on that.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnownHost View Post
    Yes, there are others. I can't find the link anymore but I know for example, Syria was on the list. Maybe it's changed a bit but not certain on that.
    Here is a link to the OFAC Country Sanctions Programs:

    http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by C7mike View Post
    Here is a link to the OFAC Country Sanctions Programs:

    http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/
    Yep, it's where I got the PDF linked above... For the real details you should read the PDF as it's an official government document.
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  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    The regulation is poorly written as far as our industry goes so I called and asked about a year ago.

    the person I talked to didn't have a good response and I don't think really knew what I was talking about. Basically she said it was illegal to send anything over to Iran. I was free to do business with Iranian citizens living in the US and I was free to do business with Iranian citizens living abroad as long as whatever I was selling wasn't being sent to or used in Iran.

    Still confused? Yea... didn't definitively answer my question either.
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  14. #14
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    The way that I interpret it is that if it's an Iranian Citizen (in the country or not) that we are legally not to do business with them. I would of course err on the side of interpreting the regulations more strictly as not to put the company in any sort of jeopardy.
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  15. #15
    I assume even if your company isn't an LLC, but your DC is located in US, you still can't do business?
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  16. #16
    If your an American company or the service is based in America and the customer is based in Iran and is Iranian then it's a no.

    Simply don't take the risk.
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  17. #17
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    As long as they don't pay the bills, you should be fine, I mean, if somebody from another country pay the bills of his account you shouldn't face any trouble, I requested an advice from a lawyer awhile ago for a similar case.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedito View Post
    As long as they don't pay the bills, you should be fine, I mean, if somebody from another country pay the bills of his account you shouldn't face any trouble, I requested an advice from a lawyer awhile ago for a similar case.
    That doesn't make it legal - it just makes it harder to trace/track/discover.
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  19. #19
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    That doesn't make it legal - it just makes it harder to trace/track/discover
    Are you a lawyer? because I did contacted one. And if he don't pay the bills, you don't have a business relationship, therefore, there's nothing illegal there.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedito View Post
    Are you a lawyer? because I did contacted one. And if he don't pay the bills, you don't have a business relationship, therefore, there's nothing illegal there.
    No, I'm not a lawyer. What if you were to provide free hosting to somebody in Iran (i.e. you pay the bill yourself technically). That would still violate the law because you would be providing a service to an individual in Iran.

    I guess the way the loophole you describe would work would be that although somebody from Iran is using the service your agreement is with the third party paying the bills and as such you would be providing them the service and they would be providing the Iranian the service.

    It's just not a risk I'd want to take personally.
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  21. #21
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    No, I'm not a lawyer. What if you were to provide free hosting to somebody in Iran (i.e. you pay the bill yourself technically). That would still violate the law because you would be providing a service to an individual in Iran.
    You're still having a direct relationship with that person.
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  22. #22
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    If this is really an issue for you then I would consult an attorney or call the department of state or your local customs office.

    I know plenty of Iranian citizens who rent and own property in the US. Under some of the theories in the thread whoever sold or is renting that property to them should be in jail.

    please take into account the source (being webhosting talk and not a legal forum) and contact people who can give you accurate information.
    Aaron Wendel
    Wholesale Internet, Inc. - http://www.wholesaleinternet.net
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedito View Post
    As long as they don't pay the bills, you should be fine, I mean, if somebody from another country pay the bills of his account you shouldn't face any trouble, I requested an advice from a lawyer awhile ago for a similar case.
    The language states "directly or indirectly", and having another country pay the bills for his account could be interpreted as selling the hosting service in an indirect manner.

    EXPORTS TO IRAN - In general, unless licensed by OFAC, goods,
    technology (including technical data or other information subject to
    Export Administration Regulations), or services may not be exported,
    reexported, sold or supplied, directly or indirectly, from the United
    States or by a U.S. person, wherever located, to Iran or the
    Government of Iran.
    Does anyone know of a situation, case or precedent which gives clarification to selling hosting or data center services to companies physically located or originating from trade-sanctioned zones?
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  24. #24
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    hmm....

    so there are iranian people living in the us who have relations back in iran.

    that means that they cannot chat to each other by landline phone or mobile...is that correct?

    personally I think when embargos effect things like web hosting it only alienates people and makes situations worse.

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  25. #25
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    The way that I interpret it is that if it's an Iranian Citizen (in the country or not) that we are legally not to do business with them.
    Hmm... are you saying than an Iranian person living in the US would starve? I'm pretty sure that's not the case. The issue is exporting, not consumption or "doing business".

    As long as they don't pay the bills, you should be fine, I mean, if somebody from another country pay the bills of his account you shouldn't face any trouble, I requested an advice from a lawyer awhile ago for a similar case.
    As long as you know what's going on and admit it, that may make you an accessory to the whole thing, at least that's how I interpret Mike's quote from the official documents.
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