US Sanctions Iran's Central Bank Governor, Alleges Hezbollah Ties

16 May, 2018, 14:52 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • ImageValiollah Seif the governor of Iran's central bank at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C.

On Tuesday, the U.S. sanctioned Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, accusing him of helping the country's Revolutionary Guard Corps transfer millions of dollars to Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Also sanctioned Monday are an Iraqi bank, its chairman, and Ali Tarzali, who Treasury said is "the assistant director of the International Department at the Central Bank of Iran".

"The United States will not permit Iran's increasingly brazen abuse of the global financial system", Mnuchin added. Not only is Trump re-imposing sanctions on Iran, but he's also threatening to take the dramatic step of punishing European businesses that don't wind down their dealing there.

They were named "specially designated global terrorists" for allegedly assisting Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force to support Hezbollah.

British, French and German foreign ministers met in Brussels on Tuesday to see how they can save the nuclear deal without the United States, but appeared hard-pressed over how their companies could continue doing business with Iran once Washington begins to reimpose sanctions.

On may 8 the President of the United States Donald trump announced the withdrawal from the agreement on Iran's nuclear program and has announced new sanctions against the Iranian regime.

Europe steps up bid to salvage Iran accord ditched by Trump
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow on May 14, 2018. On May 8, President Donald Trump violated the terms of the JCPOA by withdrawing from the accord.

The statement said the designations "do not extend" to the Central Bank of Iran. "The worldwide neighborhood should stay vigilant towards Iran's misleading efforts to supply monetary help to its terrorist proxies".

With this, the Treasury Department is trying to clamp down on Iran's ability "to abuse the US and regional financial systems". "So that others aren't misled, today the United States must, as the violator of worldwide law, come under pressure", he said, according to a report on Wednesday from the semi-official Iranian Student's News Agency.

The bank governor has also recently been attacked at home, with some lawmakers and hardline opponents of President Hassan Rouhani accusing him of mismanaging the banking industry and currency markets amid a weakening of the national currency, the rial.

Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Shiite guerrilla force, has long helped carry out Iran's foreign policy objectives in the Arabic-speaking world. The sanctions targeting Iran's central bank executives are some of the first actions by Trump's administration since pulling out of the deal to start ramping up that economic pressure. Most recently, the USA has been concerned about the role that Hezbollah fighters are playing in Syria to help prop up President Bashar Assad.

Though it's uncommon to sanction central financial institution officers, the US has carried out it earlier than. And in 2015, the US focused the governor of Syria's central financial institution.

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