For those wondering about the previous post regarding Iranian tennis referee Adel Borghei, happy news to report in case you have not kept up with the news (there was quite a lengthy follow-up article in the New York Times, which quotes me. We were able to obtain an OFAC license for him to referee in the US Open tennis tournament in New York and he managed to referee for about a week before heading back to Iran on Friday.
You may recall that Mr. Borghei was initially invited to serve at the US Open, only to have that offer rescinded on the grounds of US sanctions. Another law firm and my firm (Akrivis Law Group, PLLC) decided to take the case pro bono and petitioned before OFAC. We received the license with blistering speed. I managed to see Adel at the US Open and he seemed quite happy to be there (as the Times article also indicates).
The case illustrates the many complexities of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR Part 560 (the “ITSR”) and how the US sanctions regime against Iran can tremendously impact individuals, a recurring theme on this blog and its sister site MENALawyer.com. OFAC has taken some steps to rectify these things, such as by revising the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITR) into the ITSR last October, and other moves such as issuing General License D, which allows the export of certain personal communications devices and software, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc.
The issue of Iranians in Iran working here and US persons working in Iran is a sensitive one and this case is testament to that. That said, Adel’s story is just the tip of the iceberg for those who are curious about the immigration aspects of Iranians working here and the potentially severe implications of US persons (including dual national Iranian-Americans) working in Iran.