GitHub Removes All Restrictions for Developers in Iran After Two Years

After two years of restricted use, software developers in the nation will be rejoicing.
Fabienne Lang

GitHub announced on Tuesday its services are now fully available in Iran. Software developers around the world, and certainly in Iran, will be rejoicing. 

After two years of restricted use in the nation, GitHub appealed to the Office of Foreign Assets Control for a license to operate, who ultimately agreed to grant an exemption.


GitHub had to restrict its range of services in Iran in 2019 because of U.S. sanctions. But as of yesterday, the software developers' site is now back in business in the nation.

"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, public and private, free and paid," as Nat Friedman, GitHub's CEO wrote on the company's blog.

Friedman explained how the team worked hard over the last two years to re-open unrestricted access for developers in Iran, and other sanctioned nations under U.S. sanctions, to use GitHub.

Firstly, GitHub kept as much of its site available for developers in sanctioned countries, all while still complying with the sanctions. 

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Secondly, the team took its case to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is part of the U.S. Treasury Department, advocating for "broad and open access to GitHub." 

"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," wrote Friedman.

And the team's efforts paid off. It's now in the process of "rolling back all restrictions for developers in Iran, and reinstating full access to affected accounts."

GitHub isn't stopping there, however, as it continues on its work to secure similar licenses for other sanctioned countries such as Syria and Crimea.

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