U.S. and EU Restrictions on Doing Business with Iran


In recent months, there have been major developments regarding the economic sanctions imposed on Iran. In an effort to pressure the Iranian regime and delay the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union have each strengthened their sanction programs. This update describes the basic structure of current U.S. and EU sanctions and highlights key provisions of interest. It is intended as a summary and is not a substitute for detailed legal analysis of specific questions that arise with respect to doing business with Iran.

Efforts to strengthen the economic sanctions imposed on Iran have focused primarily on three areas: Iran’s energy industry, nuclear technology, and finance. In order to place maximum pressure on the Iranian regime, the United States and other members of the international community have tightened restrictions on refined petroleum products that were already in short supply within Iran. Direct restrictions on exports that might be useful to Iran’s nuclear program remain in place and have been expanded. Finally, in an effort to starve the Iranian regime of capital for its nuclear program and support of terrorism, new efforts are underway to limit Iranian access to and use of the global financial system.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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