Iranian Banks Feel the Heat

[Telegraph-UK] Con Coughlin - Unmistakable cracks are beginning to appear in the edifice of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's autocratic regime. However much Ahmadinejad tries to dismiss the effect the sanctions are having, the fact is they have brought the Iranian economy to its knees and will continue to do so, particularly if Britain and America are successful in persuading the UN to toughen them to punish Teheran for refusing to curtail its nuclear enrichment program. There are encouraging signs that the sanctions have thrown the regime into panic. Banking experts advising the UN say Teheran has recently ordered the withdrawal of millions of dollars from Iranian-owned banks based in Europe, a pre-emptive move to prevent the funds being frozen by any toughening of UN sanctions. Two banks have already been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department: Bank Saderat, because of its alleged involvement in financing Hizbullah, and Bank Sepah, because it is suspected of providing the finance for the nuclear program. Another Iranian bank with offices in Europe, Bank Melli, is also under scrutiny by UN and American officials over allegations that it is involved in financing Iran's nuclear program.

2007-07-06 01:00:00

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