This article clarifies who OFAC considers to be a U.S. person as well as OFAC’s implications on owning and maintaining a bank account and real property in Iran as a U.S. person.

            Firstly, it is extremely important to understand who OFAC considers to be a U.S. person. If you do fall into the category of “U.S. person” according to sanctions regulations, you must follow the rules and regulations according to OFAC.

Who is a US Person according to OFAC (Sanctions Law)?

According to OFAC, you are a United States person if you are any of the following:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Permanent resident alien (Green Card Holder)
  • An entity organized under the laws of the U.S. or any jurisdiction within the U.S. (including foreign branches)
  • Any person inside the U.S.

            According to OFAC, as a U.S. person, you are NOT allowed to own or maintain a bank account in Iran under any circumstances. If a U.S. person does own/maintain a bank account in Iran, the individual needs to seek authorization from OFAC to either continue maintaining or close down that bank account. In most circumstances they should also file a Voluntary Self-Disclosure with OFAC’s enforcement division.

When it comes to property, a U.S. person can own/maintain property only if that property was acquired BEFORE the individual became a U.S. person, or if the property was inherited afterwards. However, a U.S. person cannot, under any circumstances, gain rental income from that property UNLESS that individual obtained a specific license from OFAC authorizing him or her to do so. If any of this circumstances apply to you, please contact our office for more information and guidance.          

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