By Sudy Samandari
May 31, 2011, Houston, TX – On May 18, 2011 over 130 Iranian Americans attended an informative Seminar titled “Current U.S. Sanctions on Iran & Legal Implications for Iranian Americans” at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. The purpose of this gathering was to provide the audience with information and updates on the new and ever-changing Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) rules and regulations regarding trade with Iran.
The topics of discussion included transferring funds between Iran and U.S., sale or purchase of property in Iran, inheritance, investment in Iran and exports and imports to and from Iran. Mr. Babak Hoghoghi, Esq. of BHFA Law Group and former PAAIA Executive Director, and Mr. Ed Wilson, a Senior Partner at Venable Law Firm in Washington D.C. and former Deputy and Acting General Counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department, were the primary presenters, reviewing in detail the role of OFAC in administering the economic sanctions against Iran and how these sanctions impact both trade and personal interaction with Iran. The meeting was moderated by one of Houston’s PAAIA Team Leaders.
The program consisted of two components: the first half include presentations by the speakers who reviewed the sanctions and their impact on the Iranian American population in the U.S. The second part comprised of questions and inquiries from the guests in the form of handwritten notes, which were combined and posed to the speakers by the moderator. These questions were then answered by one or both of the presenters, who took extra care to highlight current and existing cases as a means of clarifying a regulation.
As the program concluded, the crowd expressed their appreciation and acknowledgement of the importance of such events for our community and the importance of such seminars to inform the Iranian American population in Houston and around the country on issues that impact our community.
The Houston Chapter would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to Mr. Hoghooghi for his lifelong dedication and genuine persistence in serving the Iranian American community and to Mr. Wilson for his candid quest as a leader in cross-border financial transactions. PAAIA looks forward to bringing similar educational and informative programs to the area and welcomes the community’s suggestions and recommendations on this matter.