A top U.S. State Department official has warned businesses and banks that they must be cautious not to violate sanctions that the United States continues to impose on Iran.
"Americans cannot engage in commercial activities with Iran. American companies aren't buying Iranian oil and haven't been for a couple of decades. That part hasn't changed," said Chris Backemeyer, a coordinator for U.S. sanctions policy who helped draft the landmark nuclear deal that lifted many Iran sanctions, as he visited Dubai in March 23.
He said U.S.-based companies with overseas subsidiaries potentially could do deals in Iran, however, so long as the transactions move through foreign banks.
But banks everywhere must be especially careful not to violate the restrictions still imposed by the United States, he said.
"What banks need to be careful about now is...not doing business with sanctioned parties in Iran, and there are some that are still sanctioned for terrorism," he said. "They also need to be careful not to route things through the United States because...it's still prohibited."