Iran General NewsIran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad orders banks to move assets to...

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad orders banks to move assets to beat EU

-

ImageDaily Telegraph: The president of Iran has ordered the country's leading banks to transfer billions of dollars of assets from Europe to the Central Bank to prevent them being frozen by international sanctions, according to Western diplomats.

The Daily Telegraph

By Con Coughlin

ImageThe president of Iran has ordered the country's leading banks to transfer billions of dollars of assets from Europe to the Central Bank to prevent them being frozen by international sanctions, according to Western diplomats.

The funds are being moved to Tehran through a secret network of "front" companies set up in Gulf states such as Dubai.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the move amid growing concern that Iranian banks would soon be subject to strengthened European Union-level sanctions. But his action has caused friction with Tahmaseb Mazaheri, the governor of the Central Bank. The Iranian press has reported that he may resign over the issue.

This would constitute a serious blow to Mr Ahmadinejad's already battered reputation for economic competence. Mr Mazaheri has only been in the job nine months after he replaced Ibrahim Sheibani, who resigned over the Iranian president's attempts to control the activities of the state's banks.

Mr Ahmadinejad was dealt a serious blow in April when the economy minister resigned, accusing the government of implementing "unscientific" policies.

The European Union has come under pressure from the United States to impose sanctions against Iranian banks suspected of financing Tehran's controversial nuclear programme and international terror groups in Iraq and Lebanon.

For the past year the Bush administration has been targeting Iranian banks in an attempt to deny Mr Ahmadinejad finance for the nuclear programme. Intense pressure has been applied to Western banks and companies not to do business with Tehran.

Washington also succeeded in persuading the United Nations Security Council to monitor the financial dealings of two Iranian banks – Bank Melli and Bank Saderat – as part of the new sanctions imposed against Iran in March under resolution 1803.

Washington, with Britain's support, is pressuring the UN to take firmer action against a number of Iranian banks, while Brussels is considering restrictions of its own over Tehran's refusal to call a halt to its uranium enrichment programme.

According to reports received by Western diplomats, officials at Bank Melli have been ordered by the Iranian government to smuggle assets held in Europe back to Iran. This follows a surprise raid by German financial investigators last month on the Bank Melli in Hamburg.

The bank was ordered to freeze its activities until a thorough examination had been carried out.

EU officials are considering whether to ban the bank from operating in EU member states.

But Western officials fear most of the bank's assets will have been repatriated to Iran before any ban comes into force. They are particularly concerned at the role of Dutch banks in helping to transfer funds back to Tehran via Dubai.

Although there is no suggestion that the Dubai government is involved in the smuggling operation, the Gulf state is known to have close trading ties with Iran and there are an estimated 10,000 Iranian companies based in Dubai, making it difficult for Western officials to detect unusual financial transactions.

Latest news

Snapback Sanctions, a Must Response to Iran’s Human Rights Abuse and JCPOA Violations

The protests in Iran have been going on for more than two months, even though the regime is cracking...

Growing Disintegration Among Iran Regime’s Forces

Iran has been shaken by a wave of nationwide protests since mid-September. The trigger was the death of the...

Grim Tidings for Iran’s Regime After Approval of UN Fact-Finding Mission

After many discussions and debates, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a fact-finding mission to investigate the...

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Must read

Iran’s Rafsanjani threatens Arab neighbours

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jan. 3 – Iran’s former...

Iranian builders win contracts in city that Shias helped to wreck

The Times: Iran has won a $1.5 billion (£1...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you