Can the sale of goods to a non-sanctioned country be a violation if re-exported to a sanctioned country?

Hypothetical:  

A U.S. company exports goods to a company in Germany.  Shortly thereafter, the German company sells these items to a person in Iran.  Can the US company continue to sell these items to the German company?   
 

Key Considerations: 

  • Whether or not the U.S. company’s sale is prohibited depends on whether the U.S. company knew or had reason to know that at the time of the sale, the goods were specifically intended for Iran at the time the export was made. 
  • If the goods sold to Germany went into the company’s general inventory, where they were later taken from general inventory and sold to Iran, the U.S. export would not be prohibited. 
  • Prior to making the sale to Germany, the U.S. company should conduct basic diligence to determine whether Iran is the primary customer of the German company and whether there is a high likelihood that the items are intended for Iran. 
  • Similar restrictions would apply to services provided to a person in a non-sanctioned country, where the U.S. company knew or had reason to know that at the time of the provision of the services, they were specifically intended to benefit an Iranian end-customer. 
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