Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

US Hits Iranian Central Bank Governor With Terror Sanctions

US Hits Iranian Central Bank Governor With Terror Sanctions

That would entail protecting foreign companies that continue to do business with Iran from U.S. sanctions. The same day saw German insurer Allianz stating that it was preparing to wind down Iran-related business due to possible USA sanctions.

Iran has described the sanctions as illegal and has warned that if talks to rescue the accord fail, it would ramp up its nuclear program to a level more advanced than before.

President Trump in April said Iran would pay a "price" if it threatens the U.S.

"These actions build upon President Trump's May 8 decision to cease the United States' participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and begin reimposing USA sanctions that had been lifted under the JCPOA, including against the Central Bank of Iran", Tuesday's statement said. That means that anyone in any country who does business with Seif or Tarzali could be punished.

"It is appalling, but not surprising, that Iran's senior-most banking official would conspire with the IRGC-QF to facilitate funding of terror groups like Hezbollah, and it undermines any credibility he could claim in protecting the integrity of the institution as a central bank governor", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Tuesday in a statement.

Although it is rare to sanction central bank officials, the USA has done it before.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the meeting had been a good start, but he wanted to see guarantees materialise. Secondary sanctions also apply to non-Americans and non-US companies. Seif often visits Washington to attend conferences of the Worldwide Financial Fund.

At the time, the USA singled out the Central Bank of Iran as "complicit" in the operation, foreshadowing Tuesday's action.

The designations are part of the Trump administration's efforts to disrupt Hezbollah's financial network.

In a 2016 assembly of the Council on International Relation in Washington, Seif mentioned Iran achieved "virtually nothing" from the deal.

Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Shiite guerrilla force, has long helped carry out Iran's foreign policy objectives in the Arabic-speaking world. Hezbollah and Iran are helping to prop up the Assad regime in its civil war.

The U.S. sanctions imposed Tuesday were expected to be followed by additional ones in coming weeks. And in 2015, the USA targeted the governor of Syria's central bank.

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