Can I send money to someone in Iran?

Is there a way to get around sanctions to send money to loved ones in Iran?

Last updated:

Vakil in Shariz, Iran

Unfortunately, you can't send money to Iran at the time of writing. Even if you have a loved one in Iran who needs money desperately, it's illegal in Australia to send a money transfer to a sanctioned country.

Find out below what you need to know about sanctions when it comes to sending money to someone in Iran.

Why can't I send money to Iran?

Because of sanctions in place, no bank or money transfer company can send money from Australia to Iran. This is because Australia's an active member of the United Nations (UN), which has sanctions that don't allow any kind of financial transactions between Australia and Iran.

If you send money to another country without sanctions against Iran and then pass those funds onto a recipient in Iran, you may face tough legal and financial consequences. You can read more about the sanctions on Iran on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's website.

Sanctions and Iran

Australia first sanctioned Iran in 2006, due to Iran's refusal to give up its uranium enrichment program for nuclear weapons and working against the UN's own sanctions. Further sanctions were added in 2013, related to natural gas trade and banking. These sanctions ban all transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, unless they're authorised in advance.

Australian banks won't handle a transfer to Iran for you and popular money transfer providers like Western Union and MoneyGram don't offer their services to Iran. Even if you can find a money transfer provider willing to help you send money to Iran you will then need to be very careful about the purpose of the transfer.

There are several complex rules and regulations surrounding money transfers to Iran and there have been some highly publicised cases of people or companies unwittingly falling foul of the law.

Sending money to sanctioned countries and the potential consequences

There are ways that people have chosen to get around these economic sanctions. But we stress that doing so is illegal and exposes you to severe legal and financial penalties. If you choose to route your money through a country that doesn't have sanctions against your intended destination, the UK, for example, you could be charged with money laundering.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is any activity that illegally obtains money and attempts to conceal the source, destination or identity of those funds. If you're convicted of money laundering crimes, you face years in prison and significant fines.

Interested in sending money to another country? View our full list here.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RobMay 4, 2016

    Most economic sanctions on Iran were lifted in January 2016. This includes all restrictions on personal money transfers between Australian banks and Iranian banks. Australian banks should now act accordingly and comply with the lifting of restrictions on money transfers if they haven’t done so already.

  2. Avatarfinder Customer Care
    ShirleyApril 4, 2016Staff

    Hi Said,

    Thanks for your question.

    Unfortunately due to the restrictions in place, it is very difficult to send money out of Iran. Well-established money transfer services such as Western Union and Moneygram don’t have a presence in Iran.

    You may want to speak with your bank about your options, though expensive fees are likely to apply.

  3. Default Gravatar
    najiAugust 27, 2015

    How i can send or transfer money from Bahrain to Iran?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BelindaAugust 27, 2015Staff

      Hi Naji,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      finder.com.au is an online comparison service and we provide reviews on how you can send funds from Australia to different destinations and vice versa, but not necessarily from outside of Australia to other foreign destinations.

      However, you might be interested to read our reviews on Western Union and MoneyGram that typically provide money transfer services to and from an extensive range of countries.

      All the best,
      Belinda

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