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Ban on Exports to Iran Understood by Common Sense
Description Appeals court reversed a decision to dismiss charges against a party who shipped equipment to Iran in violation of an Executive Order against exports to Iran. The claim that the Order did not clearly explain what an export is, so the Order is not enforceable, does not square with the long understood meaning of the term.
Topic International Law
Key Words Exports, Trade Restrictions
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts An Executive Order issued in 1995 banned most imports, exports, and re-exports of goods between the U.S. and Iran. Ehsan ordered Transformer Oil Gas Analysis Systems (TOGAS) for shipment to Iran, but the manufacturer refused to sell, citing the export ban. Ehsan then ordered the same good to be shipped to the United Arab Emirates. The shipment was intercepted and Ehsan was arrested for violating the export ban and for making false statements to a government agency. The district court dismissed the charges, agreeing with Ehsan that the Executive Order was impermissibly vague about "exports." The government appealed.
Decision Reversed. Export is a clear term; its ordinary meaning is manifest. Throughout history, export "has consistently meant the shipment of goods to a foreign country with the intent to join those goods with the commerce of that country." Clearly, to ship the goods to another country, to then be shipped to Iran, falls within the common sense meaning of the terms of the Order. Because the Executive Order is not ambiguous, the indictment is reinstated.
Citation U.S. v. Ehasan, --F.3d-- (1998 WL 869962, 4th Cir.)
163 F.3d 855 (4th Cir., 1998)

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