Economy, Business And Markets

Bank Sepah, IRGC Co. to Expand Cooperation

Ebadollah Abdollahi (L) and Mohammad Kazem Choghazari.Ebadollah Abdollahi (L) and Mohammad Kazem Choghazari.

The head of Khatam-al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, an engineering company affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, commended Bank Sepah and Bank Mellat for supporting the country’s development programs.

Brigadier General Ebadollah Abdollahi said both banks have been playing a significant role in national construction and infrastructure projects and through his conglomerate, Bank Sepah website reported on Thursday.

“Sepah is a major bank in the country,” he said.

Abdollahi pointed to Khatam-al-Anbiya’s major role in implementing economic programs, saying his company is ready to partner with banks in construction projects including development of transport networks.”

Last week, an Iranian newspaper reported that two leading banks had refused to work with companies affiliated with Khatam-al-Anbiya. The two banks were said to be Bank Mellat and Bank Sepah. The former reportedly refused to transfer foreign currency and the latter refused to issue a letter of guarantee for the firms working for Khatam.

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

However, Central Bank of Iran governor in a letter to CEOs of banks said they must provide (or choose not to provide) clients with banking services based only on the laws and regulations of the land, and are not allowed to cite any form of international sanctions for denying services and facilities to Iranian entities. Valiollah 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 international sanctions list –unilaterally enforced by the US or EU–is unfair and illegal.

Mohammad Kazem Choghazari, Banks Sepah’s CEO, also said that his bank’s focus is on financing development projects.

Bank Sepah’s operations in Europe were halted in 2007 following sanctions imposed on the state lender. The United Nations removed Sepah and its international branches from the sanctions list in January after the nuclear agreement  between Iran and the six world powers came into effect.