United States hits head of Iran's central financial institution with terror sanctions

16 May, 2018, 08:06 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • President Donald Trump meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House Friday

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".

Seif is also under attack inside Iran.

The Treasury Department accused the men of secretly funneling millions of dollars through an Iraqi bank to help Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant network that the USA considers a terrorist group.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Seif "covertly funneled" money from Iran's Revolutionary Guards through al-Bliad Islamic Bank in Iraq to help Hezbollah.

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

That deal, reached in 2015 and formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), sought to curb Iran's pursuit of a nuclear arsenal by providing significant sanctions relief for the country. The European members of the deal are attempting to maintain it alive with out the U.S. But it is unclear that will likely be workable, as a result of Trump has vowed to punish European firms that proceed doing enterprise with Iran regardless of re-imposed U.S. sanctions.

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The U.S. Treasury also blacklisted Ali Tarzali, assistant director of the global department of Iran's central bank, and the chairman of Al-Bilad Islamic Bank, Aras Habib.

President Trump last week pulled out of the Obama-era Iran nuclear agreement.

The U.S. said it would also sanction Seif; they are secondary sanctions, which means if someone does business with him, they could be cut off from the U.S. financial system, the Associated Press pointed out.

On Thursday, the Treasury announced sanctions against a "large-scale" currency exchange network serving the Revolutionary Guards, hitting six individuals and three companies at the centre of the network. The sanctions targeting Iran's central bank executives are some of the first actions by Trump's administration since pulling out of the deal to start ramping up that economic pressure.

The department said the sanctions would not immediately affect central bank transactions.

President Trump has always been critical of the Obama-era agreement, calling it an "embarrassment" and "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into". Hezbollah fought a battle with Israel in 2006, and Israeli officers have been deeply involved concerning the prospect of one other confrontation.

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