Conservation Force has been working on establishing trophy imports from Iran for over a decade. It has succeeded one small step at a time. Long ago, our effort began with an attempt to get a license for importation of museum exhibits, which was turned down flat because the wildlife authorities would receive license fees. The first breakthroughs were years later when Barbara Crown of The Hunting Report got the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to concede that hunting, including the internal hunting licensing, was permissible for Americans. Nevertheless, it was made clear that import of the trophies had to be licensed by OFAC.
What followed were many attempts by Conservation Force to get OFAC licenses to import the trophies, all of which were declined. Finally, OFAC volunteered in simultaneous responses to Conservation Force and Gretchen Stark of Safari Outfitters that although import shipments could not be licensed, import carriage as “personally accompanied baggage” is authorized without a license. Separately, Conservation Force obtained an OFAC letter that established that transport of firearms for personal use to and from Iran is permissible when a US Department of State representative suggested clarification was necessary.
The news of Iran was all the rage at the two sheep conventions. We hope it is as promising as it appears. Dennis Campbell of GSC/OVIS has published a definitive book on the species and range of sheep and goats in Iran. He has been preparing the book for years. He can be contacted through GSC/OVIS at http://www.wildsheep.org/contact/contact.html.