Can I send money to someone in Iran?

Is there a way to get around sanctions to send money to loved ones in Iran? Here's the information you need.

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Unfortunately, you can’t send money to Iran at the time of writing. Even if you have a loved one in Iran who needs money desperately, it’s illegal in Canada to send a money transfer to a sanctioned country.

Find out below what you need to know about sanctions when it comes to sending money to someone in Iran.

Why can't I send money to Iran?

Because of sanctions in place, no bank or money transfer company can send money from Canada to Iran. This is because Canada’s an active member of the United Nations (UN), which has sanctions that don’t allow any kind of financial transactions between Canada and Iran.

If you send money to another country without sanctions against Iran and then pass those funds onto a recipient in Iran, you may face tough legal and financial consequences. You can read more about the sanctions on Iran by visiting the Global Affairs Canada website.

Sanctions and Iran

Canada first sanctioned Iran between 2006 and 2010, due to Iran’s refusal to give up its uranium enrichment program for nuclear weapons and working against the UN’s own sanctions. Further sanctions were added in between 2011 and 2013, resulting in a broad prohibitions on financial transactions.These sanctions ban all transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, unless they’re authorized in advance.

Canadian banks won’t handle a transfer to Iran for you and popular money transfer providers like Western Union and MoneyGram don’t offer their services to Iran from Canada. Even if you can find a money transfer provider willing to help you send money to Iran you will then need to be very careful about the purpose of the transfer.

There are several complex rules and regulations surrounding money transfers to Iran and there have been some highly publicized cases of people or companies unwittingly failing to abide by the law.

Sending money to sanctioned countries and the potential consequences

There are ways that people have chosen to get around these economic sanctions. But we stress that doing so is illegal and exposes you to severe legal and financial penalties. If you choose to route your money through a country that doesn’t have sanctions against your intended destination, the UK, for example, you could be charged with money laundering.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is any activity that illegally obtains money and attempts to conceal the source, destination or identity of those funds. If you’re convicted of money laundering crimes, you face years in prison and significant fines.

Interested in sending money to another country? View our full list here.

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One Response

  1. Default Gravatar
    ShirleyApril 4, 2016

    Hi Said,

    Thanks for your question.

    Unfortunately due to the restrictions in place, it is very difficult to send money out of Iran. Well-established money transfer services such as Western Union and Moneygram don’t have a presence in Iran.

    You may want to speak with your bank about your options, though expensive fees are likely to apply.

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