Washington taking ‘odd position’ by asking Europe’s banks to engage with Iran while restricting US firms from doing so.


Nine big European banks met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, to discuss doing business with Iran in the wake of the lifting of economic sanctions against the country. Barclays, RBS, Lloyds, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, Santander, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered will all attend the CEO-level breakfast in London.

The European financial institutions are concerned about working with Tehran, and their representatives explained the reasons why to the U.S. foreign policy chief. The hesitancy is in part because of uncertainty about Iran’s economic AND LEGAL systems, especially regarding enterprise ownership and property. Banks have also flagged difficulties carrying out proper due diligence in the country.

Mr.Kerry is expected to encourage the British, French, and German banks to go back into Iran and to reassure them that the U.S. will not stand in their way. And the reason is not altruistic. Working with Iran now and risking having sanctions re-imposed in 12 months is a chance lenders don’t seem to be willing to take.

What is the benefit of US Secretary of State John Kerry who told on a meeting of top EU bankers that they will not be penalized for conducting or facilitating business with Iran.IFMAT - external-link

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Japan’s Kyodo news agency that he had received assurances from US Secretary of State John Kerry that greater efforts would be made to allay the concerns of European banks in dealing with Iran – concerns that he described as “undue”.  IFMAT - external-link

The US says they encourage everybody outside the US to engage in business with Iran,” said Zarif. “Of course, we believe that was not sufficient, so we asked them to take further action to convince and actually remove the concerns of foreign institutions, particularly banks, about working with Iran,” he added. IFMAT - external-link

IF we know that “Iran’s central bank is designated entity and Iran is a money-laundering jurisdiction”.

Post – JCPOA Status: Central Bank remains designated under this section. On November 21, 2011, the Administration took further steps to isolate Iran’s banking system by identifying Iran as a “jurisdiction of primary money laundering “concern” under Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act (31 U.S.C. 5318A). The Department of the Treasury determined that Iran’s financial system, including the Central Bank, constitutes a threat to governments or financial institutions that do business with these banks. The designation carried no immediate penalty, but it imposed additional requirements on U.S. banks to ensure against improper Iranian access to the U.S. financial system.  IFMAT - external-link

WHY US secretary of state, Mr. Kerry, encourage European banks to do business with Iran while Washington continues to restrict American financial firms from doing the same?


we know that…

IFMAT - black market side

It is totally impossible to define a “legitimate” business In Iran, since there are no available sufficient tools to conduct these checks (even not a basic due diligence), as none of the international credit rating agencies cover Iran, due to the fact that there is no transparency available regarding any domestic entity in Iran and fact that the IRGC is controlling de-facto the Iranian economy through its Bonyads controlling a web of thousands of Iranian business entities.

The administration does not provide any guidance nor practical tools for the international business community on how to conduct safe business in Iran. In this respect, the administration is misleading and place at risk international business entities.


IFMAT - Kerry - Need to be doneFor doing legitimate business with Iran, first steps that has to be done are:

To address (also publicly) the administration to provide a list of legitimate Businesses in Iran and accurately define what is “a legitimate business in Iran“.

In this respect, to ask for an explanation, why the administration urges only European banks to do business with Iran, opposed to U.S banks to do so as well.

IFMAT - Kerry - Questions

We ask why if Iran is safe for doing business (stable, not corrupt, not under control of IRGC) the US Secretary of State, forces only foreign banks to do business with Iran?

Why Mr.Kerry don’t encourage American banks to do business with Iran? Is he afraid of the problems that will occur? Is it because, if problem appear in other yard is not my problem, or better said, is not a problem at all?!

Is US not doing business with Iran, because they know for sure that they will provide more money for financing terrorism and developing WMD?

In Wall Street Journal, Levey said the US government was taking a “very odd position”.

…On the one hand, Washington is continuing to prohibit American banks and companies from doing Iran-related business … on the other hand, Mr. Kerry wants non-US banks to do business with Iran without a US repudiation of its prior statements about the associated financial-crime risks,” said Levey, who was the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury between 2004 and 2011.
While a ban on the use of dollars in the US banking system to finance Iranian trade is still in place, individual US states are adapting to the changes in different ways.
Levey, who was not at the meeting with Kerry, said: “There are no assurances as to how such activity would subsequently be viewed by US regulatory and law-enforcement authorities, which might seek to take enforcement action against banks that enter the Iranian market and run afoul of complicated US restrictions. The State Department neither controls nor plays any meaningful role in the enforcement decisions of these authorities.
“Washington has warned repeatedly that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls broad swaths of the Iranian economy. The IRGC remains sanctioned by both the US and the EU because of the central role it plays in Iran’s illicit conduct. When the US, EU, and UN removed sanctions from several hundred Iranian banks and companies, there were no assurances that the conduct of those banks and companies had changed.  IFMAT - external-link


IFMAT -there was an success on end

Parviz Aghili, head of the private Middle East Bank in Tehran, has told the media in mid-September that banks from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey and Belgium are preparing to work with Iran.
On the same front, Iran has also announced plans to establish new overseas branches of its banks in key European cities in what is seen as part of a policy to help facilitate banking transactions between the Islamic Republic and Europe.
Germany’s media reported in early September that three Iranian private banks – Middle East Bank, Parsian Bank and Sina Bank – will open branches in Munich.  IFMAT - external-link

We Demand!

IFMAT - Dont make them do - we demand

• US administration to provide a list of “legitimate businesses” in Iran.

• US administration to explain why working with Iranian banks is good for EU and not for US?!

• Are US sanctions upon Iran only piece of paper with no value?

-IF NOT, then why US secretary and government disrespect the sanctions, and force EU banks to work with Iran?

We encourage European banks not to fall in this trap! There is no legitimate business in Iran!