The US reimposed sanctions against Iran on Nov 5. Despite this, so far there has been no change to the FAA guidance to US operators issued on 9th September 2018: flights to Iran are not prohibited, but operators should “exercise caution” when flying in Iranian airspace.

However, with the reimposed sanctions comes a new problem if you’re a US operator: you’re allowed to overfly Iran, but you’re not allowed to pay for all the things needed to make that happen – things like overflight permits, and nav fees.

The rule is simple: no US person or business can pay for services in countries with sanctions against them (like Iran), unless that person or business has a licence to do so, issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

And you’re not allowed to get an agent to do it for you either; it’s illegal to skirt the OFAC laws by using a 3rd party company (unless, of course, they’ve been approved by OFAC).

So the big question we have now is this: if you’re planning to overfly Iran, have you figured out the legalities of paying for services? How are you making that work? Know someone who’s got an OFAC licence for Iran? Let us know!

And one other thing to watch out for – operators with US based insurers should double-check their policies, as you may now no longer be covered for flights to Iran, due to the new sanctions. This is worth checking, even if you’re only planning on overflying the Tehran FIR, as any unplanned landing (decompression, medical, engine fire) may force you into Tehran or another airport – it’s a big chunk of airspace.

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