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GitHub says it will now operate in Iran after receiving sanction exemption

GitHub says it will now operate in Iran after receiving sanction exemption


The company appealed to the Office of Foreign Assets Control for a license to operate

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Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

GitHub says it will now offer its full range of services in Iran, after imposing restrictions on the platform for Iranian developers due to US sanctions. The changes are due to an exemption granted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the sanction enforcement arm of the US Treasury Department.

“Today we are announcing a breakthrough: we have secured a license from the US government to offer GitHub to developers in Iran. This includes all services for individuals and organizations, private and public, free and paid,” GitHub CEO Nat Friedman wrote in a blog post published Tuesday. “Over the course of two years, we were able to demonstrate how developer use of GitHub advances human progress, international communication, and the enduring US foreign policy of promoting free speech and the free flow of information.”

GitHub has been operating in a very limited form in Iran since 2019, mostly by making some public code repositories available, due to US trade restrictions that forced the Microsoft-owned open-source hosting site to similarly restrict its operations in Crimea and Syria.

The company is now “in the process of rolling back all restrictions on developers in Iran” and “reinstating full access to affected accounts,” and Friedman says GitHub is working on receiving exemptions for Crimea and Syria, too.