Crypto Exchanges Block Residents Of Iran Following New US Sanctions

News | November 7, 2018 By:

Sepehr Mohammadi, head of Iran’s blockchain community, claims that some major crypto exchanges have removed Iran from their list of eligible countries after the US imposed tougher economic sanctions against the country.

The US sanctions against Iran came back into effect on Monday. The sanctions are aimed at over 700 Iranian entities and assets including: 50 Iranian banks, Iran Air, as well as numerous people and vessels in the country’s shipping sector. The sanctions also come as Iran’s economy is under pressure from the first round of US sanctions that went into effect in August of this year.

During the announcement of new sanctions, Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, warned that doing business with Iran in defiance of the US sanctions will ultimately be a much more painful business decision than pulling out of Iran entirely.

“It should be noted that if a company evades our sanctions regime and secretly continues sanctionable commerce in the Islamic Republic, the US will levy severe, swift penalties on it, including potential sanctions,” said Pompeo.

In an interview with local news outlet IBENA, Mohammadi said several US-based crypto exchanges, including Binance and Bittrex, have unofficially removed Iran from the list of eligible countries to receive services. However, despite the restrictions, the country’s central bank has confirmed that no assets belonging to Iranians have been blocked.

In August of this year, Mohammadi claimed that after the first round of sanctions, the Trump administration confiscated over 500 bitcoin belonging to Iranians.

“Last year, a remarkable volume of bitcoins which belonged to some Iranians were confiscated for unspecific reasons by the federal government of the United States, and the process of confiscation is still continuing,” he said at the time. “The exact number of confiscated BTC is not clear, but it is expected to be over 500 bitcoin, worth approximately 25 billion tomans ($5.77 million).”