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1134. What is the humanitarian channel in Qatar?


The humanitarian channel in Qatar (HC) was established to further facilitate the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Iran consistent with the U.S. government’s longstanding support for humanitarian trade.  Similar to humanitarian channels established under previous administrations, the HC is designed to support the Iranian people’s access to food, agricultural goods, medicine, and medical devices under stringent due diligence measures that guard against money laundering, misuse, and evasion of U.S. sanctions.

The HC offers a voluntary option for facilitating payments for humanitarian exports to Iran, but parties may continue to avail themselves of existing exceptions and authorizations to conduct humanitarian trade with Iran outside of the channel.  The United States has long maintained broad exceptions and authorizations for the sale of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Iran by U.S. and non-U.S. persons.  OFAC’s Guidance on the Sale of Food, Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, and Medical Devices by Non-U.S. Persons to Iran reflects longstanding regulations related to exports of humanitarian goods to Iran.  These exceptions and authorizations are also clearly stated on the Iran Sanctions Program website maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The HC has not and does not allow funds to be released to the Government of Iran or payments to Iranian companies.  In partnership with the Government of Qatar and financial institutions operating the HC — all of which have committed to stringent due diligence measures — the United States will closely monitor the HC and will take appropriate action should Iran attempt to use these funds for purposes other than permitted humanitarian purchases.  The HC does not lift any U.S. sanctions on Iran, and the U.S. government continues to impose sanctions on Iran’s malign activity, including in response to Iran’s weapons proliferation and its support for international terrorism.

Date Released
September 18, 2023