Economy, Business And Markets

Sanctions No Excuse for Denying Bank Services to Domestic Firms

Sanctions No Excuse for Denying Bank Services to Domestic FirmsSanctions No Excuse for Denying Bank Services to Domestic Firms

Iranian banks can only provide (or choose not to provide) clients with banking services based on the laws and regulations of the country, but are not allowed to cite any form of international sanctions for denying their services to Iranian entities, declared the governor of the Central Bank of Iran on Monday.

"Any action pertaining to restriction or outright denial of banking services to Iranian persons or institutions, citing the sanctions put in place by the United States, the European Union or other countries or organizations as reason, has no basis in the JCPOA [Iran's nuclear agreement with six major powers] or any other agreements concerning the Islamic Republic of Iran," wrote Valiollah Seif in a letter to all the CEOs of banks and credit institutions.

In the letter, Seif reiterated that from the viewpoint of the Islamic Republic, the fact that the names of some Iranian individuals and organizations still remain on the sanctions list is unfair and illegal, the website of CBI reported.

"The legal and official stance of the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been and will be that all sanctions imposed by any authority against Iranian people and organizations are illegal and the Islamic Republic does not recognize these sanctions and will not abide by them," he said.

On Saturday, an Iranian newspaper published an article claiming that two leading banks have refused to work with companies affiliated with a state body. The two banks in question were Bank Mellat and Bank Sepah. Reportedly, Bank Mellat refused to transfer foreign currency and Bank Sepah refused to issue a letter of guarantee for the said firms.

Both banks reportedly cited international sanctions on the companies as the reason for their refusal to work with them.

As the CBI chief wrote, it has been noted in the JCPOA that no foreign monetary institutions can and will be hit with sanctions or fines because the Iranian banks they deal with have done business with other Iranian persons or organizations that are still included in the sanctions list.

This implies that within the country, all banks and credit institutions are allowed to establish business deals with all persons and institutions regardless of whether or not they are still included in the sanctions list.

"There are no restrictions pertaining to sanctions in the country and will not be tolerated by the Islamic Republic," Seif wrote.