12.10.2018 | Iran's plot to use fraud to combat Donald Trump's latest sanctions
Source - The Daily Express

According to the administration, Iranian bankers and officials have previously used methods such as front companies, fraudulent documents as well as other measures in order to make money for the country’s terrorist activities. The Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, explained that if any bank or country does business with Iran, then they will face sanctions. He said: “Any country that allows its central bank to be involved in deception in support of terrorism requires the highest levels of scrutiny, particularly when the country itself is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” The warning comes as part of a coordinated effort by the administration to convince banks, corporations and countries around the world to end any business ties they have with Iran This is not just due to the imminent US sanctions, but, also, because the US claims that Tehran diverts an unknown amount of funds toward illicit ends. Despite this warning last Thursday, no new sanctions have been added yet. The new sanctions the US has proposed to implement against Iran come as part of escalating tensions between the US and Iran after President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling the country out of the Iran nuclear deal last May. The next round of sanctions will ban transactions with Iran’s central bank, shipping companies and oil suppliers. The sanctions are expected to come into effect on November 5. Recently, US Treasury and State Department officials have been touring over 30 countries to seek with government officials and heads of trade and financial institutions about cutting ties with Tehran. EU, Russian and Chinese leaders have publicly stated they are against the new sanctions proposed by the US. Nearly all major European businesses that have operations in Iran have said they are pulling out, causing the Iranian Rial’s value to plummet by more than two-thirds and the country’s oil exports to slump. Questions are arising as to how far the Trump administration will take its sanctions to countries that continue to do business with Iran. Last month, foreign ministers from Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China, the EU and Iran announced that they were creating a “special purpose vehicle” that was meant to allow the country to continue doing trade with Iran without the use of the dollar. These countries risk US sanctions would they go through with this plan. However, exceptions are widely expected which has allowed for oil prices to maintain and increase in value despite the gap made by Iran’s absence. The Treasury Department said: “Financial institutions should also be aware of possible Iranian abuses of virtual currency and precious metals to evade sanctions and gain access to the international financial system and to conceal their nefarious actions.” The threatened sanctions will only apply to countries that are caught working with Iran.

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