Iran General NewsWeb-hosting firm cuts off Iran websites

Web-hosting firm cuts off Iran websites

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Wall Street Journal: Web-hosting service provider Web.com said a unit it acquired had provided domain-registration services to Iranian entities, and has since shut them down.

The Wall Street Journal

Samuel Rubenfeld

Web-hosting service provider Web.com said a unit it acquired had provided domain-registration services to Iranian entities, and has since shut them down.

The disclosure, made Friday in an earnings statement pursuant to sanctions law signed last year, said Network Solutions LLC, or NetSol, a unit Web.com acquired in October 2011, sold domain-registration services to three Iranian entities between 1999 and 2002.

Domain-name registration services consist of accepting and processing applications for the registration, renewal and transfer of domain names through the company’s registrar, the disclosure said.

The disclosure shows how U.S. sanctions on Iran stretch beyond its nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful, or financing surrounding it.

“Business with Iran is fraught with peril, no matter what type of business it is,” said Hugh Jones, president and chief executive of BankersAccuity, a consultancy.

NetSol provided the services to Valfajr 8th Shipping Line Co. SSK, which was placed under sanctions in 2008; the Iran Marine Industrial Co., which was designated in 2012; and the Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization, which Web.com said it thinks is an Iranian governmental entity.

Web.com said NetSol locked the websites in May, preventing them from being viewed by the public, and it placed a transfer lock on the websites to prevent them from being moved to another registrar. It said it told the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control about the matter in June.

The company last received payments from the Iranian entities in 2007, the filing said.

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