U.S. nongovernmental organizations can now send money to support charities doing relief work in Iran, but only until Oct. 5.
The U.S. Department of Treasury issued the authorization Tuesday (Aug. 21), following pressure from NGOs. The government, which has standing sanctions on Iran, has previously allowed donations of food and medicine in response to the devastation brought by the twin quakes that hit the Asian nation’s East Azerbaijan province.
Under the ruling, each U.S. organization can send up to $300,000, but those that want to send more than the maximum amount “may apply for a specific license,” according to a press release.
The Treasury strictly forbids sending support to those listed under the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite military force that has “wide economic and commercial interests in Iran.”
The National Iranian-American Council, which was one of the first to raise the issue, is “pleased” with the announcement, but was concerned U.S. banks may not easily comply with the ruling.
“US banks have tended to shy away from this, because it’s just not worth it, if they make one mistake they can get a horrific fine,” NIAC President Trita Parsi told BBC.
Following the quakes, Iran said it is ready to accept foreign aid, but declined the United States’ offer, saying it was not given in “good faith,” ABC quotes Hassan Ghadami, Iran’s deputy interior minister.
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