expat safe abroad

Potential end of Iran sanctions may open the country to expatriates

It has been announced recently that Iran and the Western powers, especially the United States, have reached a preliminary deal on the nuclear issue with Iran. There have been intense negotiations between the major Western powers and Iran for many months. It is anticipated that if a nuclear deal is finally reached and approved, then sanctions will slowly be lifted.

Potential end of Iran sanctions

At present Iran has been crippled by many years of economic and political sanctions imposed by the UN and Western nations. It has been near impossible for countries to do business with Iran, which is in dire need of the expertise and investment – especially in their oil and gas infrastructure. If the sanctions are removed, there will almost certainly be an influx of foreign businesses and their expatriate employees into Iran. Some foreign companies are already in Iran.

At present, the global medical insurance companies are very limited in how they can pay for medical expenses incurred in Iran because they all have to abide by the OFAC sanctions rules.  Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces trade and economic sanctions against targeted foreign countries such as Iran or North Korea. Most global insurance companies that insure expatriates have to make sure that they do not contravene these rules.

This is especially true for those insurers from the USA or Europe. Some expat insurers can reimburse a medical claim incurred in a sanctioned country such as Iran or Sudan, but only to a bank residing outside of that country. Other insurers interpret the rules differently and will not reimburse a medical claim that occurred in a sanctioned country at all. Sometimes it can also be challenging to cover a person from a sanctioned country such as Iran, but some expat insurers will check to make sure that the person is not on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.



If your organization has expats who have a citizenship from a sanctioned country, it is important to check with the insurance provider to make sure that the person can be covered and if the insurance company can cover their medical or life insurance requirements.