Amazon just dropped a bombshell, revealing to its investors that the company is currently under federal investigation due to potential violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.  

The company is believed to have sold consumer goods to individuals currently listed on the U.S. government’s terror watchlist.


In its quarterly report to investors published on July 28th, Amazon said it sold approximately $300 worth of goods to an individual blacklisted by the U.S. government under Executive Order 13224, which was signed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and aims to “disrupt the financial support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations,” according to SiliconBeat.  A separate regulatory filing from February showed another sale of $1300 made to another individual on the terror watchlist.

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The July 28th report is also believed to show multiple other sales, some of high dollar amounts, that would violate the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act, as well as additional U.S. sanctions and export-control laws. Due to these actions, the Commerce and Treasury departments have launched an active investigation into the company, the Iranian sales, and the customers listed on the terror watchlist. The company stands to face significant penalties from the Commerce and Treasury departments.

According to Amazon’s quarterly reports to investors, during the periods between January 2012 and June 2017, Amazon sold $24,700 worth of “consumer products” to an Iranian embassy.  They also sold roughly $8,100 in consumer goods to individuals who may have purchased them on behalf of five Iranian embassies. $600 worth of products were also purchased by individuals that may have been purchasing them for entities controlled or owned by the Iranian government.


Additionally, filings from February and April reveal Amazon sold goods worth approximately $6,000 to six Iranian embassies and an additional $2,400 worth of products were sold between 2012 and 2016 to a group owned or controlled by Tehran.

Amazon claims the items purchased included items like –

  • books
  • other media
  • apparel
  • home and kitchen
  • jewelry
  • office
  • toys
  • health and beauty
  • consumer electronics
  • lawn and patio,
  • automotive
  • musical instruments

Yet the company claims they are unable to determine what if any profit was made from these sales.  Amazon has stated that they plan to fully cooperate with all efforts to investigate and suggested they would no longer be doing business with the Iran-linked customers

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