Economy, Business And Markets

IMF Pledges Continued Work With Central Bank of Iran

IMF Pledges Continued Work With Central Bank of Iran
IMF Pledges Continued Work With Central Bank of Iran

More than a week after US Treasury Department blacklisted Central Bank of Iran's Governor Valiollah Seif for his alleged "support for terrorism", the International Monetary Fund has released a statement, pledging to continue its work with him.  

“Iran is a member of the IMF, and as with all our members, the IMF will continue to work with Governor Seif and the central bank, consistent with the IMF’s articles of agreement," the global body said in its statement shared with Financial Tribune on Friday. 

On May 15, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on CBI Governor Valiollah Seif and Ali Tarzali, former assistant director of the bank’s International Department, in addition to the Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank and its chairman, and a Hezbollah official. 

OFAC designated all of them as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

"Today’s designations of Valiollah Seif, Iran’s Central Bank Governor, and Ali Tarzali, assistant director of CBI's International Department, do not extend to the Central Bank of Iran," OFAC had clarified at the time.

Iranian authorities condemned the move, with Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi saying the US made the move to compensate for its failures after its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. 

Days after the move, CBI also officially condemned the sanctioning of its governor and one of its former officials as a move showing "US contempt for international norms".

"The move by the US Treasury, which was completely unprofessional and unconventional, is an indicator of the contempt of US government officials for international norms and standards. It was unsurprising in light of the recent unilateral actions by the US government and its disrespect for international commitments and agreements," CBI said in the statement published on its official website.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance also adopted a similar stance, calling the sanctions another example of "unconventional behaviors" and a "lack of commitment toward international agreements" by the US.

"In an illegal move that was against international rights, the US Treasury Department put the governor of the central bank and one of its directors on its sanctions list," the ministry's statement published on its website declared.

"This US Treasury move was against international rights and in line with hurting the interests of Iranian citizens, foreign investors and also international beneficiaries," it added.

Iran is an active member of both the IMF and the World Bank, with its CBI governor and economy minister regularly participating in annual events held by both institutions. 

IMF also conducts the annual assessment of Iran's economy through its Article IV Mission. 

Rebuffing appeals from France, Germany and Britain, US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States earlier this month from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers.

Following the US move in May to quit the deal, the US Treasury announced the administration would reimpose a wide range of Iran-related sanctions after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods, including sanctions on Iran’s oil sector.

The Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by Tehran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council–the US, France, Britain, Russia and China–plus Germany on July 14, 2015, imposes strict restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in return for the loosening of economic sanctions.


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