Former Iranian Chancery Property (Taken Question)

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 11, 2011

Question:  What can you tell us about the former Iranian Embassy in Washington?  Who owns the building?  Is it currently under construction?  If so, what is the purpose of the construction and who’s paying for it?  Since its closure has there been any use made of the building?


Answer:  After the State Department took custody of Iran’s properties in Washington, we informed Iran’s protecting power that we were undertaking measures to respect and protect the properties in furtherance of international obligations.  In so doing, we are providing essential maintenance and repairs to the properties.


The Iranian chancery building located at 3005 Massachusetts Avenue is undergoing maintenance and repair. 


As is often needed with older structures, the work is needed to make sure that the chancery, including the dome, is stable, watertight, and that the mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems are in a safe condition.  The existing mechanical equipment such as heating and air systems will be inspected and addressed as needed.


The Department of State has served as the custodian for the former Iranian chancery – and other Iranian diplomatic and consular properties in the United States – since the break in diplomatic relations in 1980.


The Department of State is not using taxpayer money for the work but rather funds obtained from renting some of the other Iranian properties. 


Question:  Has the property been vacant since the break in relations in 1980?


Answer:  The chancery was occupied by the Department of State at various times.

PRN: 2011/043