Iran TerrorismIran 'using British banks to channel money to terrorists'

Iran ‘using British banks to channel money to terrorists’

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The Observer: The Financial Services Authority is urgently scouring Britain’s banking system for evidence of Iranian terrorism funding following an alert from the US authorities.
The Observer

The Financial Services Authority is urgently scouring Britain’s banking system for evidence of Iranian terrorism funding

Conal Walsh

The Financial Services Authority is urgently scouring Britain’s banking system for evidence of Iranian terrorism funding following an alert from the US authorities.

The move comes after officials at the FSA were shown American intelligence indicating that suspicious Iranian funds were being funnelled through the City of London and other financial centres.

Hank Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, claimed last month that Iran was using the western banking system to sponsor international terrorism and nuclear procurement.

Paulson warned that ‘blue chip banks’ were being unwittingly used by a network of ‘more than 30 front companies’ controlled by Tehran. America also recently accused the Iranian bank Saderat of channelling hundreds of millions of dollars to Hizbollah and other violent Palestinian groups.

The FSA declined to comment on its communications with US agencies this weekend, but expressed confidence that its normal regulations were effective in detecting money-laundering.

UBS and Credit Suisse are among the western banks reported to have faced US government pressure to cut their links with Iran, although there is no suggestion that either has been used as a conduit for illegitimate funds. Other international banks and some EU countries are thought to consider Paulson’s warning alarmist.

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