How can I help?

That's usually the first of many questions we have after a natural disaster.

And this is the question many have been grappling with over the past three days, after a devastating earthquake jolted an area near the Iran-Iraq border.

Official estimates put the death toll at more than 500. Most of the victims are Iranian.

Related:  Iran hunts for survivors as quake kills more than 300 near Iraq border

But sending aid to Iran from the US is not as straightforward as you might think. That's because a number of the US sanctions against Iran remain in place.

But a few organizations have been given special licenses to operate in Iran and take dollars from Americans. If you'd like to donate, the National Iranian American Council suggests these organizations for helping victims of the earthquake, and has provided answers to a few frequently asked questions on their website.

Moms Against Poverty: A small, Burlingame, California-based charity that has set up a special campaign for victims of the Iran quake.

Child Foundation: Based in Portland, this organization received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and directs its aid toward children, often providing recurring aid to children in need.

Children of Persia: Another small charity, based in Montgomery Village, Maryland, Children of Persia has an exclusive focus on Iran.

Relief International: Based in Los Angeles, this small charity has done previous work in Africa and Sout Asia.

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI