Bank Melli Iran's response to the news published in cyberspace regarding OFAC's new sanctions and designations

Sunday, December 02, 2018
Bank Melli Iran replied to claim of US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and its further distribution in cyberspace in respect of its being placed in the list of sanctioned entities by US government.

The branches and subsidiaries of Bank Melli Iran in regional countries and other parts of the globe have operated in compliance with the international trade law and the rules and regulations of the host countries. Furthermore, these activities have been monitored by Central Banks of the respective countries during the past seven decades; including its activities in Persian Gulf countries for the past 50 years.

In a professional move and as part of the bank's overseas branch expansion policy in providing conventional banking services, Bank Melli Iran's branch in Iraq was established subsequent to performing legal formalities and authorization of the host country in 2007. The activities of the said branch have been under the supervision of competent authorities of Central Bank of Iraq ever since. According to the audits of the host country to date, the bank's performance has been assessed as accurate, complied and well-documented.

Therefore, OFAC's claim on establishment of BMI branch in Iraq as a conduit for payments and dispensing funds to Iraqi Militant groups and other military related entities is far from reality and biased. Such a claim ignores the existing mutual historical, cultural, social and economic relations, the long borders between two countries and the huge number of pilgrims which necessitate banking services.

Considering the above, while rejecting strongly OFAC's claims on illegal transfer of funds in any amount, it should be notified that the whole transaction records of the said branch is disproportionate to the unaccounted amount  in scale of billions of Dollars declared by OFAC.

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