Amazon Reports Selling Stuff To Iranian Embassies, Person On Terrorism Watch List

Image courtesy of Alan Rappa

Amazon — the “Everything Store” to most of the world — sells to just about anyone, anywhere. Problem is, it’s not supposed to do that. The company has revealed it’s under federal investigation for selling items to customers linked to the Iranian government (including its embassies), and also to someone on the terrorism watch list.

Under 2012’s Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act, publicly traded companies that have done business with Iran have to report the transactions. That might be difficult for a company like Amazon, though, which sells all over the world and to pretty much anyone with a credit card.

In a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Amazon notes that the items sold to customers linked to Iran’s embassies or to its government included “books, music, other media, apparel, home and kitchen, health and beauty, jewelry, office, consumer electronics, software, lawn and patio, grocery, and automotive products.” That’s a nice selection of items.

The breakdown was:

• $24,700 worth of merchandise was purchased by an Iranian embassy in an unspecified country that isn’t Iran
• $8,100 worth of merchandise was bought by people who may have been acting on behalf of five unspecified Iranian embassies
• $600 worth of merchandise sold to people who may have been working for entities controlled by the Iranian government
• $60 worth of merchandise to people who may have been working for entities on the terrorist watch list with links to Iran
• $300 worth of merchandise to a person on the terrorist watch list

“We are unable accurately to calculate the net profit attributable to these transactions,” Amazon noted with a straight face, since this was a quarterly report in which the online retailer reported an average of $7.5 billion in net sales per month in North America alone. Still, these transactions had to be reported, and could result in fines.

(via Washington Post)

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