US Hits Iran Central Bank Governor With Sanctions

Elias Hubbard
May 16, 2018

At that time, the Department of the Treasury called out Iran's Central Bank for being "complicit in the IRGC-QF's scheme", noting that the financial institution "actively supported this network's currency conversion and enabled its access to funds that it held in its foreign bank accounts".

The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed new sanctions on the head of Iran's Central Bank and a handful of others for supporting global terrorism, according to a departmental press release.

With this, the Treasury Department is trying to clamp down on Iran's ability "to abuse the USA and regional financial systems".

The U.S. on Tuesday sanctioned the head of Iran's central bank and another senior bank official, claiming they have been key to funneling money to the external operations unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanese Hezbollah.

"The United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal", Trump said, calling the deal "defective at its core" and a "disastrous deal" that gave the Iranian "regime of great terror" billions of dollars.

"The United States will not permit Iran's increasingly brazen abuse of the worldwide financial system", Mnuchin added.

The sanctions against Seif and Tarzali do not, however, extend to the Central Bank of Iran.

The Treasury labeled the sanctioned individuals under a list of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists" via a presidential order that targets terrorists.

The U.S. Treasury Department also issued economic sanctions against another top official, in addition to Seif.

A European official said that some senior figures in the United States administration were pushing for a "North Korea scenario" in Iran, in reference to the drastic sanctions imposed on the North Korean regime which Washington believes helped push the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, into halting missile and nuclear testing and agreeing to renewed negotiations. "The worldwide neighborhood should stay vigilant towards Iran's misleading efforts to supply monetary help to its terrorist proxies".

The U.S. faced a May 12 deadline to decide whether or not to remain in the Iran nuclear deal.

The strikes come as Trump's administration, after deeming the 2015 nuclear deal insufficiently robust on Iran, seeks to assemble a worldwide coalition to put sufficient strain on Tehran that it comes again to the negotiating desk to strike a "higher deal".

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a live broadcast that if President Trump follows through with his promise to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, the United States "will surely regret it".

The Treasury said Seif covertly moved "hundreds of millions of dollars" to Hezbollah from IRGC via Al-Bilad Islamic Bank. USA officers had been reaching out Tuesday to central banks in different nations within the Middle East and Europe to tell them of the sanctions and encourage them to right away freeze belongings the financial institution has overseas.

Lebanon's Hezbollah, the powerful Shiite guerrilla force that is also a prominent political player in Lebanon, has long helped carry out Iran's foreign policy objectives in the Arabic-speaking world.

Though it's uncommon to sanction central financial institution officers, the US has carried out it earlier than.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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