Programming note: Money Stuff will be off tomorrow, back on Monday.
Most people, in their daily lives, do not run too much risk of trading with people subject to international sanctions. You probably aren’t buying your groceries from an Iranian front company. Meanwhile many businesses, and in particular banks, do run this risk: If you are a big bank, and someone comes to you to open an account, the odds that they are a front for a sanctioned Iranian are not zero. And so banks have compliance departments that are intended to (1) detect sanctioned entities and avoid dealing with them and (2) demonstrate to the authorities that they’re trying to do that, so that if any sanctioned entities slip through the cracks the reaction is “oops, you missed one” rather than “you are a criminal enterprise, here’s a huge fine.”