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I have a start-up and I want to know if I can hire a ux designer from Iran in my company or not?

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  • 2
    UX for a missile launch system, or for an educational app?
    – Ron Beyer
    Jul 12, 2021 at 22:19
  • 1
    The nature of the work should matter, a lot, for sanctions purposes,.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 12, 2021 at 23:58
  • User experience designer for designing a website
    – Behare Jfr
    Jul 14, 2021 at 5:52

1 Answer 1

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Under US regulations pertaining to Iran sanctions, §560.201,

Except as otherwise authorized pursuant to this part, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to May 7, 1995, the importation into the United States of any goods or services of Iranian origin or owned or controlled by the Government of Iran, other than information and informational materials within the meaning of section 203(b)(3) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(3)), is prohibited.

where that acts grants the President the authority to regulate various things but

The authority granted to the President by this section does not include the authority to regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly...

the importation from any country, or the exportation to any country, whether commercial or otherwise, regardless of format or medium of transmission, of any information or informational materials, including but not limited to, publications, films, posters, phonograph records, photographs, microfilms, microfiche, tapes, compact disks, CD ROMs, artworks, and news wire feeds. The exports exempted from regulation or prohibition by this paragraph do not include those which are otherwise controlled for export under section 4604 3 of this title, or under section 4605 3 of this title to the extent that such controls promote the nonproliferation or antiterrorism policies of the United States, or with respect to which acts are prohibited by chapter 37 of title 18

So information isn't generally regulated, except potentially under section 50 USC 4604 – which was repealed. For the moment, here is what that law said (huge, not gonna copy). But that doesn't matter too much because the exception to the exception is for exports, not imports: it is legal to import technology into the US. (OTOH, how is it possible to import programs without exporting at least shred of programming technology?)

Also under §560.419

The prohibitions in §560.201 make it unlawful to hire an Iranian national ordinarily resident in Iran to come to the United States solely or for the principal purpose of engaging in employment on behalf of an entity in Iran or as the employee of a U.S. person, unless authorized pursuant to §560.505. See also §560.418 with respect to the release of technology and software.

You cannot bring an Iranian resident to the US for this purpose, unless you get authorization. It does not say you can't pay a guy in Iran to work remotely.

And finally, §560.505 which is about the "authorized pursuant to" clause:

The release of technology or software in the United States, or by a United States person wherever located, to any person violates the prohibitions of this part if made with knowledge or reason to know the technology is intended for Iran or the Government of Iran, unless that technology or software meets the definition of information and informational materials in §560.315.

There are other clarificatory notes attached to this section.

Finally, §560.505 explicitly allows importation of certain non-immigrant services, but what you intend doesn't seem to be covered.

So it is not crystal clear, especially since your plan might involve "exporting technology". It's not safe to interpret these regulations on your own, and you need to hire an attorney who specializes in this area, where you would discuss in detail what you will be "exporting" (even if you don't think it is exporting, it could be legally deemed to be exporting). That, I think, is the main legal issue.

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