Iran Economy NewsGermany checking bank's Iran dealings

Germany checking bank’s Iran dealings

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AP: German authorities are investigating the activities of a Hamburg-based bank that specializes in financing trade between Europe and Iran, after it was blacklisted by the U.S. government in connection with sanctions against Tehran.

The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) – German authorities are investigating the activities of a Hamburg-based bank that specializes in financing trade between Europe and Iran, after it was blacklisted by the U.S. government in connection with sanctions against Tehran.

Michael Offer, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry, said Monday German financial officials had no knowledge of wrongdoing by the European-Iranian Handelsbank AG, or EIH, following a Wall Street Journal report — that called it the European-Iranian Trade Bank AG — saying it had conducted more than a billion dollars in international business for Iranian companies.

“I can say that, so far, the bank oversight authority has no information about violations … but that BaFin and the Bundesbank are investigating all of these allegations,” Offer said.

A spokeswoman for the bank would not comment on the report but said it would release a statement later Monday.

On its website, the bank says it was founded in 1971 and describes itself as “a specialized bank for services and business possibilities with Iran.”

But the U.S. Department of the Treasury in June included the bank in a list of individuals and institutions it says are helping Iran develop its nuclear and missile programs and evade international sanctions.

EU foreign ministers are to meet later this month to finalize their own lists. Currently, the EU has not named the bank on any of its black lists.

Iran vehemently denies charges that its nuclear program is intended for anything other than peaceful purposes such as energy-generation, and insists it has the right to enrich uranium under the international nonproliferation treaty.

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