Amazon Fulfills Orders to Iran, Now Faces Potential Fines from U.S.

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Amazon filled orders and made product deliveries to certain groups and individuals that were indirectly affiliated with or controlled by the Iranian government.

This finding, which Amazon revealed during a recent regulatory filing, may result in the imposing of civil penalties against the internet retail giant for violating previously imposed U.S. sanctions.

Amazon contacted the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security after discovering the transactions and is presently cooperating with an investigation.

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The sanctions that Amazon may have inadvertently violated are those put in place by the Obama administration in 2012. The “Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012” was enacted as a way to deter Iranians from pursuing the development of a nuclear weapon.

According to the rules of the sanction, any entity which violates the sanction is subject to civil penalties.

Section 218 of the act states: “When it comes to doing business with Iran, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent firms shall in all cases be treated exactly the same as U.S. firms: namely, what is prohibited for U.S. parent firms has to be prohibited for foreign subsidiaries, and what is allowed for foreign subsidiaries has to be allowed for U.S. parent firms.”

An article in The Seattle Times reported that “the orders included $2,400 in consumer products to an entity controlled by Tehran’s government and $1,300 in consumer products to a person subjected to sanctions by an executive order.”

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