PayPal have blocked sales for a Melbourne event because it is about Iranian culture.
The Persian Soiree is an event at the Moroccan Delicacy in Brunswick Melbourne to celebrate the issue of Garland magazine that welcomes the return of Iranian culture and arts with the prospect of sanctions lifting.
When asked why ticket sales have been reversed , the response from PayPal was:
… the reason why the transaction has been reversed is due to OFAC compliance review. PayPal is required to comply with the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) regulations. As required by law, PayPal does not allow any transactions to, or from, OFAC sanctioned countries.
Since 1979, Iran has been subject to international sanctions affecting their capacity to trade internationally. These were increased in 2006 to be the toughest against any country in the world. While they were nominally lifted last year, the process is painfully slow, which undermines efforts by reformers such as President Rouhani to open up their country. This is something foreign tourists experience to their chagrin when they want to pay by credit card while traveling in Iran, but it is a challenge faced by Iranians everyday as they seek to engage in the world.
A statement from Dr Kevin Murray, editor of Garland and Senior Vice-President of the World Crafts Council, Asia Pacific:
“This action by PayPal shows how important it is that we demonstrate a welcome to Iran which acknowledges their desire to be an active part of world culture again. Their crafts in particular are among the most highly skilled in the world. We should welcome this as a testament to human dedication to make a beautiful world. And as we discovered in this issue of Garland, the work by Iranians inside and outside the country also contains deep spiritual and personal value that can appeal to all peoples, especially in a multicultural society like Australia.”
With your support, Garland hopes to weave a way around this heavy-handedness by collecting payment by attendees on the day. We still like you to book through Evenbrite so we can be sure of numbers and cover our costs. Thank you.
See link for more information about the event.