November 29, 2021

Volume XI, Number 333


Iran Sanctions Return

Key Points

1. All sanctions on Iran that were in place before January 2016 will be re-imposed no later than November, 4 2018.

2. Secondary sanctions that penalize non-U.S. persons doing business with Iran will be reinstated.

3. General License H, allowing non-U.S. subsidiaries of U.S. companies to do business in Iran, will be revoked.

4. In some cases, companies may take payments or repayments for sales, loans, or credits to Iran after November 4, 2018



  • Wind Down Period. There is a 90-day wind down period (ends August 6, 2018) and a 180-day wind down period (ends November 4, 2018); at the end of each, specific sanctions that were lifted as a result of the JCPOA will be re-imposed.

  • Payments and  Repayments. If a non-US, non-Iranian person is owed payment or repayment after the end of both wind-down periods for (1) goods or services fully provided or (2) loans or credits extended to an Iranian person prior to the end of the applicable wind down period, the U.S. government will allow the person to take payment or repayment provided the following:
    → The sale, loan, or credit was made pursuant to a written contract or agreement entered into before May 8, 2018; and
    → The activities were consistent with U.S. sanctions in effect at the time the sale, loan, or credit was made.

  • FAQs. If the JCPOA FAQs conflict with guidance issued by the Department of State or Treasury regarding the wind down of activities, the later-issued guidance should be followed

Sanctions Listings

  • OFAC will place persons identified as “Iranian financial institutions” and the “Government of Iran” back on the SDN list no later than November 5, 2018

  • No later than November 5, 2018, OFAC will re-impose, as appropriate, the sanctions that applied to persons removed from the SDN List and/or other lists maintained by OFAC on January 16, 2016.


  • Unexpired specific licenses issued pursuant to the Statement of Licensing Policy on commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services (JCPOA SLP) will be revoked on August 6, 2018.
    → OFAC will no longer evaluate applications for licenses under the JCPOA SLP.

  • OFAC will revoke General License H (authorizing U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign entities to engage in certain activities involving Iran) and GL I (authorizing U.S. persons to enter into and engage in transactions incident to negotiations of contracts for activities authorized by the JCPOA SLP) as soon as is administratively feasible.
    → The wind down of activities authorized under General License H must be completed by November 4, 2018 and for I must be completed by August 6, 2018


  • Sanctions lifted under 1245(d) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) will be re-imposed after 180-day wind down period.
    State Department will make determinations regarding significant reduction exceptions provided for in section 1245(d)(4)(D) of the NDAA at the end of the 180-day wind down period.
    → In making these determinations, the State Department will consider evidence regarding each country’s efforts to regarding the importation of Iranian origin carpets and foodstuffs, and related financial transactions.

Specific Sanctions Reimplementation

  • The 90-day wind down period ends on August 6, 2018. Sanctions related to the following will be re-imposed:
    → The purchase or acquisition of U.S. dollar banknotes by the Iranian government;
    → Iran’s trade in gold or precious metals;
    → The sale supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite raw, or semi-finished metals;
    → The purchase, subscription to, or facilitation of the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt;
    → Sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector;
    → Sanctions on the maintenance of significant funds or accounts outside Iranian territory denominated in Iranian Rial;
    → Sanctions on significant transactions related to purchase/sale of Iranian Rial; and
    → Also at the end of the 90-day-wind down period, the US government will revoke JCPOA-related authorizations regarding the importation of Iranian origin carpets and foodstuffs, and related financial transactions.

  • The 180-day wind down period ends on November 4, 2018. Sanctions related to the following will be re-imposed:
    → Sanctions on Iran’s port operators, and shipping and shipbuilding sectors;
    → Sanctions on petroleum-related transactions with, among others, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC);
    → Sanctions on transactions by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and designated Iranian financial institutions under Section 1245 of the NDAA;
    → Sanctions on the provision of specialized financial messaging services to the CBI and Iranian financial institutions described in Section 104(c)(2)(E)(ii) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA);
    → Sanctions on the provision of underwriting services, insurance, or reinsurance; and
    → Sanctions on Iran’s energy sector.

Copyright © 2021, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 131

About this Author

Reid Whitten, partner, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm

Reid Whitten works with clients around the world to plan, prepare, and succeed in global business transactions.

In the areas of U.S. and international sanctions, export and defense export controls, and anti-corruption regulations, he supports clients in detecting and deterring potential compliance issues as well as conducting and defending investigations and enforcements. Mr. Whitten also advises on anti-dumping, anti-money laundering, and anti-boycott regulations.

Mr. Whitten is a thought leader on cross-border business regulations. He teaches a seminar on The Law of...

J. Scott Maberry, Lawyer, Sheppard Mullin, International Trade, Trade Practice

Mr. Maberry is an International Trade partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Maberry's expertise includes counseling and litigation in export controls, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-terrorism, economic sanctions, anti-boycott controls, and Customs.  He also represents clients in negotiations and dispute resolution under the World Trade Organization (WTO), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and other multilateral and...

Curtis Dombek, Attorney, Lawyer, Governmental Contracts, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm

Curt Dombek is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group. Curt divides his time between the firm's Brussels and Los Angeles offices.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Dombek has practiced since 1983 in the field of international trade. He advises clients on the full range of international regulatory issues, including civilian and military export controls, trade sanctions and blocking orders, Customs matters, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the USA Patriot Act, Free Trade Agreements, CFIUS reviews of foreign...

A. Joseph Jay, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm, Washington DC, Corporate Law Attorney

Joseph Jay is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

Areas of Practice

Joseph Jay’s practice encompasses a broad array white collar defense, corporate investigations, and international trade matters. His matters include defense of civil and criminal enforcement actions and investigations, compliance counseling, regulatory advice  

White Collar Defense & Corporate...