On July 22, 2016, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) received written clarification from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) confirming that international standards development activities do not violate OFAC's Iran sanctions regulations.
This comes in addition to guidance received earlier this year with respect to OFAC's Sudan sanctions regulations. [see related article]
As OFAC stated in its initial guidance to ANSI on August 15, 2012, such activities were deemed to fall within the "informational materials" exemption to the sanctions regulations or are authorized under a general license which allows for collaboration on the creation and enhancement of written publications, such as international standards. [see related article]
Thus, recognizing that ISO and IEC standards are created with input from member bodies in embargoed countries and adopted as national standards by member bodies in those countries, OFAC determined that participation in development of such standards by ANSI and its members is permissible under current OFAC regulations.