31 CFR 535.568 - Certain standby letters of credit and performance bonds.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, payment into a blocked account in a domestic bank by an issuing or confirming bank under a standby letter of credit in favor of an Iranian entity is prohibited by § 535.201 and not authorized, notwithstanding the provisions of § 535.508, if either:
(1) A specific license has been issued pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, or
(2) Eight business days have not expired after notice to the account party pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Whenever an issuing or confirming bank shall receive such demand for payment under a standby letter of credit, it shall promptly notify the person for whose account the credit was opened. Such person may then apply within five business days for a specific license authorizing the account party to establish a blocked account on its books in the name of the Iranian entity in the amount payable under the credit, in lieu of payment by the issuing or confirming bank into a blocked account and reimbursement therefor by the account party.
(c) Where there is outstanding a demand for payment under a standby letter of credit, and the issuing or confirming bank has been enjoined from making payment, upon removal of the injunction, the person for whose account the credit was opened may apply for a specific license for the same purpose and in the same manner as that set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. The issuing or confirming bank shall not make payment under the standby letter of credit unless:
(1) Eight business days have expired since the bank has received notice of the removal of the injunction and;
(2) A specific license issued to the account party pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph has not been presented to the bank.
(d) If necessary to assure the availability of the funds blocked, the Secretary may at any time require the payment of the amounts due under any letter of credit described in paragraph (a) of this section into a blocked account in a domestic bank or the supplying of any form of security deemed necessary.
(e) Nothing in this section precludes any person for whose account a standby letter of credit was opened or any other person from at any time contesting the legality of the demand from the Iranian entity or from raising any other legal defense to payment under the standby letter of credit.
(f) This section does not affect the obligation of the various parties of the instruments covered by this section if the instruments and payment thereunder are subsequently unblocked.
(g) For the purposes of this section, the term standby letter of credit shall mean a letter of credit securing performance of, or repayment of, any advance payments of deposits, under a contract with Iran or an Iranian entity, or any similar obligation in the nature of a performance bond.
(h) The regulations do not authorize any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to reimburse a non-U.S. bank for payment to Iran or an Iranian entity under a standby letter of credit, except by payment into a blocked account in accordance with § 535.508 or paragraph (b) or (c) of this section.
(i) A person receiving a specific license under paragraph (b) or (c) of this section shall certify to the Office of Foreign Assets Control within five business days after receipt of that license that it has established the blocked account on its books as provided for in those paragraphs. However, in appropriate cases, this time may be extended upon application to the Office of Foreign Assets Control when the account party has filed a petition with an appropriate court seeking a judicial order barring payment by the issuing or confirming bank.
(j) The extension or renewal of a standby letter of credit is authorized.
(k) All specific licenses previously issued under this section to account parties to standby letters of credit are revoked, effective February 28, 1991, unless the license holder submits documentation to the Office of Foreign Assets Control establishing that the specific license pertains to a standby letter of credit obligation that (1) is at issue in any claim brought before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (“Tribunal”), (2) is or was at issue in any claim that the Tribunal resolves, or has resolved, on the merits in favor of the account party, or (3) was at issue in a matter that was settled by the parties. The documentation required for such a showing may include such items as a copy of a Tribunal Award, a copy of a signed settlement agreement, or copies of cover pages of recent filings in pending Tribunal cases.