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Friday, March 21, 2008

U.S. Treasury issues new warnings on Iranian banks - Persian Journal economy business Latest Archaeology oil gas news & Iranian business newspaper gas

U.S. Treasury issues new warnings on Iranian banks

U.S. Treasury issues new warnings on Iranian banks
Mar 20, 2008

The Bush administration issued a new warning to U.S. banks on Thursday that Iran's state banks are using deceptive practices to disguise Tehran's involvement in nuclear proliferation and terrorist activities.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, said it sent an advisory warning banks of what it called weaknesses in Iran's first anti-money laundering law, which was passed in February. FinCEN said the deficiencies in Iran's anti-money laundering regime were "exacerbated" by Tehran's continuing attempts to conduct prohibited weapons proliferation activity and terrorist financing.

"Through state-owned banks, the government of Iran disguises its involvement in proliferation and terrorism activities through an array of deceptive practices specifically designed to evade detection," FinCEN said.

It said Iran's central bank and several commercial banks have requested that their names be removed from global transactions in order to disguise their identity. The Treasury has prohibited U.S. transactions with a number of Iranian state banks, including its largest, Bank Melli, and Bank Sepah and Bank Saderat.

The Bush administration has been waging a campaign to cut off Iran from the international banking system to put financial pressure on Tehran, which Washington accuses of trying to develop nuclear weapons and provide financial support for terrorists.


U.S. punishes Bahrain bank for its Iran ties
Mar 12, 2008

The United States Treasury Department announced sanctions Wednesday against a Bahrain bank accused of helping Iran's alleged nuclear proliferation activities.

The Treasury Department said Future Bank B.S.C. is controlled by Iran's Bank Melli, which has already been sanctioned "for facilitating Iran's proliferation activities."

"Bank Melli goes to extraordinary lengths to assist Iran's pursuit of a nuclear capability and ballistic missiles, while also helping other designated entities to dodge sanctions," said Stuart Levey, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

"Banks and other entities owned or controlled by Bank Melli pose a serious threat to the integrity of the international financial system," Levey said.

Future Bank was started in 2004 in a joint venture between Bank Melli; Bank Saderat, also an Iranian bank; and a private bank based in Bahrain.

Under the designation, any bank accounts and financial assets in the United States must be frozen, and American citizens will not be permitted to do business with the bank.

Bahrain "has taken responsible steps to try to prevent Future Bank from abusing the country's financial system," Levey said.

"Bahraini authorities have been closely monitoring Future Bank and took some steps after Treasury's designations of Banks Melli and Saderat to attempt to prevent abuse by this institution."

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