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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.
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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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  26. #26
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    If the person was in the US Illegally then I wouldn't do business with them either way and if they were in the US Legally then I don't think it would be an issue to do business with them until they went back to Iran - at which point it would become complicated.
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  27. #27
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    We're lucky here as we only have to follow the UN sanctions to the letter. If the sanction doesn't specifically exclude something it's fine to provide.
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  28. #28
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    facebook allows Iran citizens from iran to signup and use facebook as long as they don't use it for Commercial activities:

    http://asia.cnet.com/blogs/cyberpers...tm?id=63010408


    Quote Originally Posted by C7mike View Post
    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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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan14 View Post
    facebook allows Iran citizens from iran to signup and use facebook as long as they don't use it for Commercial activities:

    http://asia.cnet.com/blogs/cyberpers...tm?id=63010408

    If I was the OP, living in the US with it's atitude towards the middle east, I wouldn't touch a customer from Iran. It just too much hassle with the potential for the feds to go knocking on his door, all for one lousy hosting customer.

    Facebook has the money and staff to deal with a major legal problem, Joe Average host isn't going to have the same luxury.
    Last edited by SSHocker; 08-26-2009 at 04:46 AM.
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  30. #30
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    We just had this come up the other day, this was my response: http://twitpic.com/f3yvx
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney-E2 View Post
    We just had this come up the other day, this was my response: http://twitpic.com/f3yvx
    Wow... It's not necessarily that individual person's fault and they don't necessarily have the power to resolve that issue so I don't know that I would have been that mean/rude and I certainly wouldn't publicly say it if I had been...

    I guess that's just me though - I feel that response is a bit over-the-top...
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney-E2 View Post
    We just had this come up the other day, this was my response: http://twitpic.com/f3yvx
    Massive error bringing politics in your response. Truth is in the eye of the beholder. BTW Iran doesn't even have nukes and Israel does, so you're telling the country that does not have nukes to "put them down" and leave the country that has nukes alone. What a world we live in
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  33. #33
    If you are using US facilities (datacenter, equipments or any other stuff made in usa or made by a us company) you cannot make business with iran.
    I sell it equipments in Romania and in the contract with the official dell representative is a paragraph like that.
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  34. #34
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    I've turned down a few people that tried to get hosting from Iran..Like others have said, it's just not worth the trouble. Also, I think paypal does not allow accounts created from Iran.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by prahovasport View Post
    If you are using US facilities (datacenter, equipments or any other stuff made in usa or made by a us company) you cannot make business with iran.
    I sell it equipments in Romania and in the contract with the official dell representative is a paragraph like that.
    Not according to the treasury office.

    On August 19, 1997, the President signed Executive Order 13059 clarifying
    Executive Orders 12957 and 12959 and confirming that virtually all trade and
    investment activities with Iran by U.S. persons, wherever located, are
    prohibited.

    Only U.S persons are prohibited. Additionally my provider also does not require me to turn down iranian customers.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by smenkhare View Post
    Only U.S persons are prohibited. Additionally my provider also does not require me to turn down iranian customers.
    But they were speaking of an agreement with Dell - Dell cannot directly (or indirectly) conduct business with individuals or businesses from Iran and as such they cannot do so indirectly such as through a reseller/parts house knowingly - hence the paragraph in the Dell agreement.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney-E2 View Post
    We just had this come up the other day, this was my response: http://twitpic.com/f3yvx
    I'm not sure how that will help. Assuming that the leader is a wacko, how would you expect the average citizen act to have him removed from office? If anything, he, the citizen, is the mad man's victim as well, and shouldn't be judged too harshly.

    In any case, this was a business inquiry. All that was needed was an explanation that doing business with him is illegal in your country, and end with something like "Sorry, and feel free to contact us again when this state of affairs changes."
    Last edited by ldcdc; 08-26-2009 at 06:21 PM.
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  38. #38
    I can bet the guy who respond in such harsh way is DUMB him self never bring politics into your business.

    Politics is dirty GAME!!!!! You never know who to blame!!!!
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    I'm not sure how that will help. Assuming that the leader is a wacko, how would you expect the average citizen act to have him removed from office? If anything, he, the citizen, is the mad man's victim as well, and shouldn't be judged too harshly.

    In any case, this was a business inquiry. All that was needed was an explanation that doing business with him is illegal in your country, and end with something like "Sorry, and feel free to contact us again when this state of affairs changes."
    rofl....

    I just read that link...

    The first sentence was fine...then it headed south after that.

    Manners cost nothing.

    I know a lot of Iranians and they seem very polite well mannered people. Funnily enough they tell me their relations back home in Iran hate the leader too but can't speak up or else they'd get lead away with their family and brutally murdered.

    owm
    Last edited by Outlaw Web Master; 08-26-2009 at 08:19 PM.
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  40. #40
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    Rodney Giles, isn't the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to customer service and company image.
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