General License Allows Exports to Iran to Facilitate Personal Communications
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a general license that, effective May 30, authorizes the exportation to Iran of certain services, software and hardware incident to personal communications in order to “empower the Iranian people as their government intensifies its efforts to stifle their access to information.” Specifically, this license authorizes the exportation or reexportation of the following, directly or indirectly, from the U.S. or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to persons in Iran.
- fee-based services incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet, such as instant messaging, chat and email, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, Web browsing and blogging
- fee-based software subject to the Export Administration Regulations that is necessary to enable the services described above, provided that such software is designated as EAR99 or is classified under ECCN 5D992.c
- to the extent not authorized above, certain software and hardware that are subject to the EAR and incident to personal communications, as well as related services, as specified in the annex to this general license
- consumer-grade Internet connectivity services and the provision, sale or leasing of capacity on telecommunications transmission facilities (such as satellite or terrestrial network connectivity) incident to personal communications.
The general license does not authorize the export or reexport of (a) any such services, software or hardware to the Iranian government or to any individual or entity on the Specially Designated Nationals list, (b) commercial-grade Internet connectivity services or telecom transmission facilities (such as dedicated satellite links or dedicated lines that include quality of service guarantees) or (c) Web-hosting services that are for purposes other than personal communications or domain name registration services.