U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

1087. Does the general license at 31 CFR § 560.540 authorize the exportation of fee-based or no-cost cloud-based services and software to Iran that are used to support communications tools authorized by 31 CFR § 560.540?


Yes.  Section 560.540(a)(1) of the ITSR authorizes the exportation to Iran of fee-based or no-cost cloud-based services incident to the exchange of communications over the internet.  In addition, 31 CFR § 560.540(a)(2) authorizes the exportation to Iran of cloud-based software that is incident to, or enables services incident to, communications over the Internet.  Software exported under 31 CFR § 560.540(a)(2) either: (i) must be designated as EAR99 under the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730 through 774 (EAR), excluded from the EAR because it is described under 15 CFR § 734,3(b)(3), or classified under Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 5D992.c; or (ii) if the software is not subject to the EAR because it is of foreign origin, must be the type of software that would be designated EAR99 or classified under ECCN 5D992.c if it were subject to the EAR.
For purposes of 31 CFR § 560.540, cloud-based services and software are determined to be incident to the exchange of communications over the Internet when they are used to support transactions authorized or exempt under the ITSR, including the following categories of activities: 

  • instant messaging, chat, email, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing, blogging, social media platforms, collaboration platforms, video conferencing, e-gaming platforms, e-learning platforms, automated translation, web maps, and user authentication services; 
  • the export, reexport, or provision of software and services listed in the categories (6) through (11) of the 31 CFR § 560.540 List of Services, Software, and Hardware Incident to Communications, including anti-virus and anti-malware software, anti-tracking software, mobile operating systems and related software, anti-censorship tools and related software; Virtual Private Network (VPN) client software and related software; and provisioning and verification software for Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) certificates and related software, provided that the software meets the relevant conditions of 31 CFR § 560.540, including applicable export control classification-related criteria;
  • transactions that are exempt from the prohibitions of the ITSR, including news outlets and media websites covered by the exemption for information or informational materials in 31 CFR § 560.210(c) of the ITSR; and
  • other transactions authorized under the ITSR, such as transactions necessary and ordinarily incident to publishing authorized pursuant to 31 CFR § 560.538, transactions for the conduct of the official business of certain international organizations pursuant to 31 CFR § 560.539, the sale and exportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, and certain software and services pursuant to 31 CFR § 560.530, and transactions authorized pursuant to any general or specific licenses issued under the ITSR. 

Please note that 31 CFR § 560.540(a)(1) does not authorize the exportation of cloud-based services or software to the Government of Iran, except as specified in 31 CFR § 560.540(a)(6). 

Date Updated: May 16, 2024

Date Released
September 23, 2022