Iran General NewsSantander traded with blacklist Iranian bank

Santander traded with blacklist Iranian bank

-

Daily Telegraph: Santander, one of Europe’s biggest banks, has been trading with an Iranian bank that is blacklisted by the US for allegedly financing nuclear proliferation. The Daily Telegraph

By Katherine Griffiths

Santander, one of Europe’s biggest banks, has been trading with an Iranian bank that is blacklisted by the US for allegedly financing nuclear proliferation.

Santander, Spain’s largest bank and the owner of Abbey in the UK, was doing business with Teheran-based Sepah as recently as March, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

Trading with businesses that are blacklisted for alleged links to terrorism is a serious breach of US law and can have draconian consequences.

A spokesman for the US treasury department said: “Violations of US sanctions programmes may result in civil and even criminal penalties. The same statute or fine structure is used regardless of whether it’s a foreign bank operating in the United States or a US bank.”

Santander, which is currently bidding for ABN Amro along with Royal Bank of Scotland and Fortis, must comply with US law because it is listed in New York and has branches in New York and Miami. It also owns almost a quarter of Philadelphia-based Sovereign Bank.

Santander is thought to have opened accounts for Sepah in various European countries and in Teheran.

Allegations have also been made that Santander had a banking relationship with another Iranian bank that the US is targeting for its alleged links to terrorists.

Santander said: “Neither of these institutions has an open account with Santander.”

The Spanish bank appears to have ended its relationship with Sepah after March. No details are known about the nature of its contact with the other bank.

Santander said: “Banco Santander is confident that it complies with all relevant banking regulations in the territories in which it operates, and with international requirements placed on banks, including those concerning money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.”

Sepah, which is owned by the Iranian state, was placed on the US blacklist in January. At the time, Stuart Levey, under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said: “Sepah is the financial linchpin of Iran’s missile procurement network and has actively assisted Iran’s pursuit of missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction.”

Mr Levey also urged other countries to “deny financial assistance to Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes”.

In March the United Nations agreed to freeze Sepah’s international assets.

While the threat of hefty penalties has prompted a swift response from US banks to increasingly severe restrictions on doing business with several Iranian banks, US officials have found it more difficult to crack down on European lenders.

Many European banks have historic relationships with Middle Eastern partners. Senior banking sources said they did not think Santander was alone in doing business with Iranian banks that are being targeted by the US.

In order to make the isolation of banks that are suspected of financing terrorists more effective, Mr Levey and Hank Paulson, the former head of Goldman Sachs who is now US treasury secretary, have mounted a campaign to persuade European banks to cut their ties with certain partners.

The treasury spokesman said: “We’ve been meeting with our government counterparts, as well as financial institutions, throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East to discuss the risks of doing business with Iran.”

Sepah has denied the US allegations against it.

Latest news

Iran Dispatches Terror Squads to Iraq: Militia Commander Confesses

“Confessions made by Qassem Musleh al-Khafaji, one of commanders of Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in al-Anbar governorate, unveiled...

Iran’s Presidential Candidates Deliberately Ignore Crises Caused by the Neglect of the Social Sphere

One of the main crises in Iran, caused by the mullahs’ underdeveloped culture, is the social crisis. On the...

Satellite Footage Shows Tehran Never Stopped Nuclear Bomb-Making Projects

On June 9, Fox News revealed unusual activity at the Sanjarian nuclear site in 25 miles outside the capital...

Presidential Candidates Did Not Mention Iran’s Dying Economy

Not mentioning the economic situation and plans by Iran’s presidential candidates has a long history in Iran’s elections. The...

A Sad Example of Iran Officials’ Pointless Economic Plans

There is no doubt that Iran’s economic system is a disordered and turbulent market without any control or proper...

All-Important Wetlands in Iran Dried Up

Iran is geographically located in an arid and semi-arid region, and in recent years the issue of wetlands, lakes...

Must read

Iran’s gasoline imports decline 50% after sanctions, EMC says

Bloomberg: Iran’s gasoline imports fell 50 percent last month...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you