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European Banks’ Iran Investments Face US Headwinds
European Banks’ Iran Investments Face US Headwinds

European Banks’ Iran Investments Face US Headwinds

European Banks’ Iran Investments Face US Headwinds

European banking sources have revealed that abundant funding projects and deals in Iran were thwarted during the past months by the Office of Foreign Assets Control because these operations violate the sanctions imposed on a number of Iranian parties classified on the black list.
These sanctions were imposed before the nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 (the US, the UK, Russia, China and France, plus Germany), which forbid any US individual, company, banks, organizations or institutions of dealing with any party on the black list.
A French banker told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We have abolished certain operations because we fear expensive fines similar to those imposed on BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale Bank Jordan, reaching up to $15 billion. Some German banks were also fined, including Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank AG.”
An unnamed German banker also revealed that “most of the business visits by German, French and Swiss delegations to Tehran since the lifting of sanctions went in vain. There is a serious concern among major western banks because they don’t want to take the risk”.
Commenting on the Iranian financial system, European bankers clarify that Iran is listed among countries considered “uncooperative” by the Financial Action Task Force in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The international group that monitors money laundering worldwide decided in June to keep Iran on its blacklist of high-risk countries but welcomed Iranian promises to improve and called for a one-year suspension of restrictions on Tehran.
Iran has for long complained that the US is not honoring the terms of JCPOA by discouraging major banks from reengaging Iran.
On the political level, the presidency of Donald Trump represented an additional shock to European bankers, “several plans were suspended until the vision is clear on how strict Trump will go in closing in on Tehran”.

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