Iran Nuclear NewsIran's Melli Bank: the target of sanctions

Iran’s Melli Bank: the target of sanctions


ImageAFP: Iran's Bank Melli, the newest target for European sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear defiance, is the oldest bank in the country and has already been hit by punitive measures from the West.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iran's Bank Melli, the newest target for European sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear defiance, is the oldest bank in the country and has already been hit by punitive measures from the West.

In October 2007, the United States included Bank Melli in a broad range of sanctions measures against Iranian institutions on the grounds that it provided banking services to the nuclear drive and the elite Revolutionary Guards.

Those sanctions forbid any financial transactions between a US citizen or private organisation. All assets under US jurisdiction of those targeted were immediately frozen.

The latest UN Security Council sanctions passed against Iran in March also urged "vigilance" in dealing with banks inside the Islamic republic, including Bank Melli, which is believed to be the biggest in Iran.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the latest measures after talks with US President George W. Bush in London on Monday.

"Today Britain will urge Europe, and Europe will agree to take further sanctions against Iran," Brown said at a joint press conference. "We will take action today that will freeze the overseas assets of the biggest bank in Iran, the Melli Bank."

Bank Melli Iran (Iran National Bank) was founded on September 11, 1928 during the rule of shah Reza Pahlavi who wanted to modernise Iran's economy to bring it in line with European countries.

Its founding was helped by aide from Reza Pahlavi's close ally Germany and German officials ran the bank during its early years.

The bank currently employs more than 45,000 men and women, and it has more than 3,100 branches in Iran and 16 branches outside the Islamic republic.

It is 100 percent state owned and although Iran is intending to partly privatise other state banks as part of a broad privatisation drive, Bank Melli is not expected to be affected.

In 2005-2006 the bank reported it had assets of more than 350 trillion rials (32 billion dollars). More up-to-date figures are not available.

Recent press reports have said that Iran has moved its asset from the European banks to other institutions, fearing that further sanctions would affect its access to investments.

But this has been denied by the bank's London branch which said: "It should be noted that BMI continues to maintain very significant assets and investments in the EU and has every intention of doing so in the future."

Latest news

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

Must read

Iran says will remove cameras from nuke sites

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Feb. 14 – Iran is...

IRGC Proxy Force in Iraq Attempts to Set up Its Own Air Force

By Pooya StoneOn Friday, 6 September, it was announced...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you