Iran Practice

Helping clients engage in lawful trade with an exceptionally promising and uncharted emerging market

Akrivis Law Group, PLLCOur Iran Practice leverages our globally-renowned sanctions compliance & defense practice, our in-depth expertise in international commercial transactions, knowledge of the Iranian business and legal landscape, internal Persian language skills, and Iranian law to provide U.S. and international clients with legal clarity on the types of business they can do with Iran and how to enter the Iranian market in an optimal manner.  More specifically, we provide clients interested in lawfully doing business with Iran with single, elegant solutions combining our knowledge and insight on compliance with U.S. sanctions laws and other applicable regulations, as well as Iran and its laws.

As covered extensively in the international media, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between Iran and the P5+1 states and implemented on January 16, 2015 does not herald the end of all sanctions, and certainly unilateral U.S. sanctions applicable to U.S. persons.  We are here to advise to ensure you fully know how the law impacts you – advising on your limits, can work lawfully within permissible areas, and applying for requisite authorizations.  Being substantially experienced with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), we know what is realistic and what is not, and seek solutions that are mindful of your time, budget, and reputation.

Akrivis can assist clients in:

  • Sanctions Compliance Programs & Analysis
    Including investigations, assessments, and enforcement matters
  • Authorized and Licensable Trade
    Such as the exportation of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, food products, agricultural commodities, computing equipment, and mobile technologies to Iran and the permissible importation of certain limited Iranian goods, as well as applying for and obtaining OFAC licenses where needed, and advising on related contracts and transactions
  • Advice on Iranian Law
    Using in house-legal experts qualified to practice Iranian law
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Registration and Enforcement in Iran
    Such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights
  • Criminal Defense in Sanctions Violations Cases 

Sanctions Compliance

We are at the forefront of developments in the ever-changing area of sanctions law.  With the recent breakthrough JCPOA, the dynamic of U.S.-Iranian relations is changing at breakneck speed.  As sanctions are gradually relaxed, Akrivis assists clients on how to enter this exciting market lawfully.  Our sanctions team offers a full range of services from advising on current regulations to civil and criminal enforcement to help clients keep abreast of the rapid changes as they are phased in, not just with respect to Iran, but also the region (such as Dubai, Turkey, and the Central Asian Republics).

Importantly, Akrivis’s Managing Partner Farhad Alavi regularly advises major multinational entities, ranging from public U.S. corporations to companies in Europe and the Middle East on this subject, and appears frequently in major international media as an expert on this topic.  The nuclear deal certainly does not signify the end of U.S. sanctions, and we provide our clients with candid assessments of what we believe to be the likelihood of obtaining authorization to engage in certain transactions.  We also help our clients navigate through the euphoria and excitement and to know the limits of the law, all with an eye to ensuring full legal compliance.

Lastly, we advise clients on all facets of criminal and civil defense for sanctions and export control violations.

What Sets Our Sanctions Practice Apart

One of the key features of Akrivis’s practice that distinguishes us from competing firms is that our deep knowledge of U.S. sanctions and compliance laws is coupled with our very intimate understanding of Iran’s business and financial environment, as well as those of the broader Middle East & North Africa (MENA region).  By understanding how activities take place on the ground in Iran and the region, we are intimately aware of critical red flags and exposure points under U.S. law, allowing us to give clients relevant, useful advice that cannot be found by just reading the code.  While the range of activities permissible for U.S. persons is fairly narrow, there is still a very pronounced need for careful navigation to ensure that all activities are compliant with U.S. law, not just from a sanctions perspective, but from the perspective of other laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Advice on Iranian Law

With our internal capabilities in the Persian (Farsi) language and in-house expertise, you can obtain advice on Iranian law from us through our experts here in Washington, DC.  We offer clients full service on all aspects of Iranian law and regulations within the framework of what is permitted under U.S. sanctions laws.   Beyond simply offering Iranian legal advice from within our firm (something exceptionally rare outside Iran), this expertise is provided in tandem with advice on U.S. law, enabling us to know which questions to ask and to discern which solutions are actually compliant with U.S. law and feasible and which approaches would require authorization from the U.S. government.

Registration of Intellectual Property in Iran

Among the activities that are generally permitted under existing sanctions laws is the registration of intellectual property (IP) by U.S. entities in Iran and Iranian entities in the United States.  This applies even if the underlying products cannot yet be lawfully sold to Iran.  IP registration is a crucial strategic tactic that should be done as soon as possible in preparation for a day when such sales are lawful.  Nevertheless, IP infringement can happen even when a company’s goods are not authorized to be exported to Iran, and your business may need to therefore enforce its rights in Iran.

Utilizing our close relationships with high-level, bilingual and western-trained practitioners in Iran, we can help you register and protect your intellectual property there.  We are uniquely able to assist you on any type of registration, from basic patent prosecution to litigation to protect your IP rights, all while ensuring everything is done in a manner compliant with applicable U.S. laws and regulations.

As a U.S. law firm, Akrivis Law Group, PLLC, is committed to full and thorough compliance with all applicable sanctions laws and regulations and best practices.  All advice to clients is provided in strict accordance with this principle and standard.