US blacklists virtually Iran’s entire financial sector

Published October 9, 2020
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, walks from the office of Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell, as he leaves the Capitol on September 30. — AP
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, walks from the office of Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell, as he leaves the Capitol on September 30. — AP

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has blacklisted virtually all of Iran's financial sector, dealing another blow to an economy that is already reeling under US sanctions. The move will deepen tensions with European nations and others over Iran.

Thursday’s move hits 18 Iranian banks that had thus far escaped the bulk of reimposed US sanctions and, more importantly, subjects foreign, non-Iranian financial institutions to penalties for doing business with them. Thus, it effectively cuts them off from the international financial system.

“Today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction eighteen major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to US dollars,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Our sanctions programmes will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programmes. Today’s actions will continue to allow for humanitarian transactions to support the Iranian people.”

The action targets 16 Iranian banks for their role in the country’s financial sector, one bank for being owned or controlled by a another sanctioned Iranian bank and one military-affiliated bank, Treasury said.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2020

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