United States imposes sanctions against Iran central bank governor
16 May, 2018, 08:05 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Iranian central bank, was named a "specially designated global terrorist" along with another senior official, Ali Tarzali, who works in the central bank's worldwide division. Together the actions "seek to stifle Iran's ability to abuse the USA and regional financial systems", according to Treasury.
The United States on Tuesday sanctioned Iran's central bank governor Valiollah Seif and Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank for trafficking millions of dollars for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the second batch of sanctions by the Trump administration since it withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last week.
"The US won't allow Iran's more and more brazen abuse of the worldwide monetary system", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mentioned.
Tuesday's action seeks to cut off what the United States called a "critical" banking network for Iran and deny those blacklisted access to the global financial system.
Historic deal on Iran's nuclear program from 2015 provides for the removal of sanctions against Iran in exchange for limiting its opportunities for the enrichment and storage of nuclear materials. Its actions are meant to build on President Trump'sdecision to withdraw the United States from the Iran Nuclear Deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
At the time, the U.S. singled out the Central Bank of Iran as "complicit" in the operation, foreshadowing Tuesday's action.
Though the sanctions don't technically lengthen to the central financial institution itself, they might considerably improve Iran's isolation from the worldwide monetary system. That means that anyone, in any country, who does business with Seif or Tarzali could themselves be punished with sanctions, cutting them off from the United States financial system. These secondary sanctions affect individuals' ability to open or maintain a correspondent or a payable-through account in the United States.
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". Habib and the bank are also subject to secondary sanctions. Those funds were then used to "enrich and support the violent and radical agenda of Hezbollah", Treasury said.
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.
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