How to send money to Iran | finder.com

How to send money to Iran

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Is there a way to get around sanctions to send money to loved ones in Iran?

Unfortunately, the world’s politics can stand in the way of your help to friends and family in sanctioned countries, making sending money to Iran a tricky business. Still, the US has the discretion to grant you special permission to send money to family members in countries like Iran. You must be able to prove that your funds are not for commercial purposes, and how much you send could be limited.

Sanctions and Iran

The US sanctioned Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, further expanding economic sanctions when Iran refused to give up its uranium enrichment program for nuclear weapons. The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control severely limits US citizens from committing funds or other financial assets in Iran. Can I send money to someone in a country with sanctions?

However, U.S. depository institutions are allowed to handle funds transfers, through intermediary third-country banks, to or from Iran noncommercial family remittances and travel-related remittances, among others. But add to this the fact that people in the US are prohibited from dealing with some specific Iranian banks due to their links with financing terrorism and it quickly becomes apparent that sending funds to Iran is very difficult.

Most US banks will not handle a transfer to Iran for you, and popular money transfer providers like Western Union and MoneyGram don’t offer their services to Iran. Even if you can find a money transfer 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 unwittingly falling foul of the law. Obtaining advice from the Office of Foreign Assets Control before sending a transfer is recommended.

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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 by the US 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. In the US, money laundering is illegal under federal and state laws. The specific laws about what constitutes money laundering and its prosecution may differ. However, if you’re convicted of money laundering crimes, you face years in prison and significant fines.

One option for sending money to Iran commonly touted on online forums is to first send your money to a friend or relative in the UK, from where it can then be sent on to your beneficiary in Iran (transfers between the UK and Iran are allowed but restricted).

But this option is definitely not recommended as it raises the possibility of money laundering, and depending on where you live it may even be illegal. If you hold a bank account in another country as a resident of that nation, research the rules in place for sending money to a sanctioned nation from that account.

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Can I send money to Iran through bitcoin?

Because bitcoin isn’t regulated by any central monetary authority and is based on a peer-to-peer network, you may be able to send money to Iran using bitcoin. This electronic currency is accepted for use in Iran and can be converted into Iranian rial. However, the legal implications of sending bitcoin to Iran are unclear. To avoid any trouble with the authorities, consider speaking to a lawyer or the US Treasury before initiating a bitcoin transfer to Iran.

Foreign exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. For example, in January 2018 the US dollar was worth approximately 35240 Iranian rials.

However, most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means they can fluctuate with the market. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

When in doubt

If you’re in doubt as to whether you can send money to a sanctioned country, always assume that transferring funds from the US to a sanctioned nation is illegal unless a lawyer tells you otherwise. As the US Treasury advises, “You cannot do something indirectly that you would not be able to do directly.” For more information about sending money to Iran, look into your state’s laws on money laundering, the US Treasury’s updated list of sanctioned nations and the laws that dictate where your bank can make transfers.

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11 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    NatalieJune 1, 2018

    How many days can it take to transfer money from Iran to the U.K.? Is there a limit to how much can be sent? Thanks in advance ?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloJune 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Natalie,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Contrary to popular belief in the British Iranian community, transfer of funds to and from Iran has never been prohibited. Transfer process may take from 3 days to a week and it may vary from provider to provider if you do it via bank transaction. There are providers who can do same day in the table above in this page.

      We have a guide and comparison in sending money to the UK HERE.

      Cheers,
      Joel

      Cheers,
      Joel

  2. Default Gravatar
    TrayzMay 9, 2018

    Which of the country can Iran send money to?

    • Default Gravatar
      AwsiMay 31, 2018

      My friend wants to send me money from juba South Sudan to Iran what money transfer company can he use? And or if he send from Uganda ?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloJune 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Awsi,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      There are multiple ways in sending funds to Iran.

      The US sanctioned Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, further expanding economic sanctions when Iran refused to give up its uranium enrichment program for nuclear weapons. The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control severely limits US citizens from committing funds or other financial assets in Iran.

      You may want to send this link from where I commented to your friend so he can weigh his options.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynMay 9, 2018Staff

      Hello Trayz,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You can send money from Iran to various countries as long as it is still part of the scope of the money transfer service that you used to send money. Many exchange offices can transfer money for you (to bank account) and they will charge you for some commission. Check with the transfer company and see the countries you may be able to send money to. You’re welcome.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  3. Default Gravatar
    TalhaDecember 7, 2017

    My friend wants to send me $500 from Iran to Pakistan, but he can’t find any place to send. Someone, please help and guide me through this.

    • finder Customer Care
      RenchDecember 7, 2017Staff

      Hi Talha,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      You can also have a look at this page for money transfer services that you can compare and you may check with your friend if they have these services from Iran.

      Kind regards,
      Rench

  4. Default Gravatar
    meDecember 2, 2017

    Other ways to transfer money to Iran are e-currencies like “Webmoney, OKPay, AdvCash” . they don’t have problem with Iran. I used them.

  5. Default Gravatar
    ShahinMarch 15, 2017

    How do I can be sending mony from Italy to Iran ?

    • finder Customer Care
      HaroldJuly 13, 2017Staff

      Hi Shahin,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      While, the world’s politics can stand in the way of your help to friends and family in sanctioned countries (like Iran), sending money is quite tricky.
      One option for sending money to Iran commonly touted on online forums is to first send your money to a friend or relative in the UK, from where it can then be sent on to your beneficiary in Iran (transfers between the UK and Iran are allowed but restricted). But this option is definitely not recommended as it raises the possibility of money laundering, and depending on where you live it may even be illegal. You may want to check the other options here.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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