Iran bank as­sets with­drawn from Europe: cen­tral bank chief

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

TEHRAN: Iran's cen­tral bank chief said on Fri­day that Tehran has with­drawn the as­sets held by its banks in Europe to es­cape the lat­est round of in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic sanc­tions over its nu­clear drive.

"The Cen­tral bank ... has trans­ferred the (Ira­nian) banks' as­sets from Europe. Cur­rently there is no prob­lem in re­gards to block­ing of as­sets of the Ira­nian banks by the Euro­pean Union," Mah­moud Bahmani was quoted as telling the Fars news agency.

He did not say how much money was in­volved, what its des­ti­na­tion was or when the trans­fers took place.

"We will ad­dress the needs of our peo­ple dur­ing sanc­tions, since the Cen­tral Bank pre­dicted the sit­u­a­tion six months ago," he added.

On June 9, the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil hit Iran with a fourth set of sanc­tions over its nu­clear pro­gramme. The United States and Euro­pean Union have since im­posed even tougher puni­tive mea­sures of their own.

Lead­ing Ira­nian banks have been specif­i­cally tar­geted by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, with the United States sanc­tion­ing Mel­lat, Melli, Saderat and Ex­port Devel­op­ment Bank of Iran, ac­cus­ing them of fi­nanc­ing weapons pro­lif­er­a­tion.

The EU mea­sures in­clude a ban on the sale of equip­ment, technology and ser­vices to Iran's en­ergy sec­tor, hit­ting ac­tiv­i­ties in re­fin­ing, liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas, ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion.

New in­vest­ments in the en­ergy sec­tor are also banned.

The Ira­nian bank­ing sec­tor was also hit by re­stric­tions, forc­ing any trans­ac­tions over 40,000 eu­ros (51,000 dol­lars) to be au­tho­rised by EU gov­ern­ments be­fore they can go ahead.

On Au­gust 8, Bahmani said Iran must cut im­ports to over­come the sanc­tions, which tar­get Iran's bank­ing, fi­nan­cial and en­ergy sec­tors.

Two days later, First Vice Pres­i­dent Mo­ham­mad Reza Rahimi said Iran would limit its pur­chases from the Euro­pean Union, which amounted to 11.4 bil­lion eu­ros, or 27 per­cent of Ira­nian im­ports in 2009, ac­cord­ing to EU statis­tics. He said this would mainly af­fect food im­ports, such as wheat and soy­beans. Iran is ac­cused by world pow­ers of seek­ing atomic weapons un­der the guise of a civil­ian pro­gramme. It is un­der se­cu­rity coun­cil sanc­tions for its re­fusal to halt ura­nium en­rich­ment --the process that can be used to make nu­clear fuel but also the fis­sile core of an atom bomb in highly pu­ri­fied forms.

IS­LAM­ABAD: Pak­istani For­eign Min­is­ter Shah Mehmood Qureshi shak­ing hand with Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Is­lamic Con­fer­ence Prof Dr. Ek­meled­din Ih­sanoglu dur­ing Emer­gency Meet­ing of the Re­lief or­ga­ni­za­tions of OIC Mem­ber States, in the cap­i­tal of Pak­istan.

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