What you need to know about US Economic Sanctions with Iran? Is Iranian Rial Currency Legal?

Iranian Rials Is It A Sanctioned Currency?


The Iran Rial is a currency which is heavily trending in searches on the internet as of late. Many Americans are buying Iranian Rial which is evident from looking at sites like eBay and Amazon where it's being sold to the tune of hundreds of thousands of Dollars a month. But is it legal to buy or sell the Iranian Rial? Or is the currency under sanctions?

OFAC or the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is a division of the US Treasury has a document published titled "What you need to know about US Economic Sanctions with Iran." The document can be found at THIS link.

Why Do Sanctions Exist Against Iran?


As a result of Iran's support of terrorism, as well as the nature of their nuclear program the US has economic sanctions against Iran.

What Do Sanctions Cover?


Sanctions cover what can be imported from Iran, what can be exported to Iran, investments in the company, as well as weapons, technology, and medical devices among other things.

Are Iranian Rials Legal To Buy & Sell?


Above we linked to an OFAC document which describes what the US sanctions with Iran ental and what activities they prohibit which seem to be essentially all activities of trade, importing and exporting.

Below are some screenshots taken from this document which don't outright state currency is sanctioned. It doesn't outright state that it's illegal to import, buy, or sell Iranian Rials, however they do seem to outright ban importation of Iranian goods in excess of $100.  It also states it bans essentially any activity regarding goods owned or controlled by the Government of Iran. Reading into this one could assume the currency of a government is an item owned and controlled by the government.

US Sanctions On Iranian Goods & Services
US Sanctions On Iranian Goods & Services



Financial Dealings With Iran
Financial Dealings With Iran


Sanctions On Imports From Iran
Sanctions On Imports From Iran


Despite having the actual framework of the sanctions right in front of us on this document, without fully understanding the complicated terms of these sanctions and not understanding the legal speak of this document we aren't sure whether it's legal or illegal to import, buy or sell Iranian Rials. OFAC does provide a means to contact them at the bottom of this document so if anyone is thinking of purchasing Iranian Rials it would probably be wise to contact OFAC and get a definitive answer on whether it's legal to do before doing so.