Iran General NewsUS cracks down on N. Korean bank, cites Iran...

US cracks down on N. Korean bank, cites Iran ties

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AFP: The United States slapped sanctions on a North Korean bank on Tuesday, accusing it of having ties to the arms trade and Iran, the Treasury Department said.

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States slapped sanctions on a North Korean bank on Tuesday, accusing it of having ties to the arms trade and Iran, the Treasury Department said.

Treasury sanctions czar David Cohen said the Bank of East Land was linked to North Korea’s intelligence agencies, as well as banks in Iran.

“Bank of East Land is a major conduit for facilitating North Korea’s conventional arms trade,” Cohen said.

The bank was accused of aiding an arms dealing organization called Green Pine, which has been linked to a top North Korean intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

The Treasury Department said that in 2007 and 2008 the bank helped Green Pine execute transactions with Iran’s Bank Melli and Bank Sepah, both of which are already the subject of sanctions.

The allegations will fuel suspicions that US rivals North Korea and Iran are actively cooperating to circumvent international weapons sanctions.

Bank Melli, Iran’s largest bank, has been on a US list of companies sanctioned for supporting Iran’s alleged nuclear aspirations since 2007.

It is also accused of providing banking services to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

Bank Sepah has been accused by the Treasury of being the “financial linchpin of Iran’s missile procurement network.”

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