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Iran's Bank Mellat denies U.S. accusations

TEHRAN, Nov. 04 (ISNA)-Iran's Bank Mellat issued a statement about the U.S. groundless accusations and illegal sanctions on this bank and two other banks, Melli and Saderat.

Bank Mellat while denying the U.S. allegations asserted that it will respond the U.S. through taking legal measures.

The United States has imposed sanctions on three Iranian banks and Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps on the pretext that the measure would bar Iran from pursuing its nuclear drive.

The statement of Bank Mellat on the illegal and baseless economic sanctions imposed by USA is as below:

In another baseless allegation against Iranian financial institutions and in order to disrupt the country's banking system, the US Securities and Exchange Commission recently imposed another illegal and baseless sanction on the three major banks of Iran, demanding to freeze any of their assets held in U.S. and prohibiting any U.S. citizen or company from engaging in financial transactions with these financial institutions.

Since the name of Bank Mellat is listed along with two other banks of Islamic Republic of Iran namely Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran in the Executive Orders 13382 and 13224 issued by the current US administration on 2007.10.25, it is necessary to clarify the minds of, international community particularly the major financial institutions and banks worldwide on the following issues, concerns and declaration:

- There is no justification in international law for economic sanctions on financial institutions and banks for political reasons, and sanctions should not be used for the purpose of superimposing political aims or exert illegal pressure on other financial entities.

- Bank Mellat strongly insists that its operation is and has always been limited to mere economic activities and there has never been a single example of the involvement of the Bank in any illegal activity.

- Since any economic sanction may interfere with the socio-economic function of the target entities, it may inflict harm on the lives of ordinary people using their services. This is a clear violation of internationally recognized financial and banking ethics and principles.

- Since international financial and banking markets are quite sensitive to any signal and accusation, imposition of false allegations will endanger worldwide economy and international business.

- Trying to expand unilateral economic sanctions to other territories, by the USA is aimed at giving its legal system extraterritorial application which is against international laws recognized by civilized nations of the world.

- Imposing of unilateral economic sanction based on false allegations by the USA is a clear violation of the established principles of internationally accepted laws and regulations, and well known concepts of international economic and trade ethics ,such as freedom of international trade; freedom of competition; free movement of legitimate capital and assets; liberalization and freedom in trade flows; avoidance of implementation of economic and trade limitations; observation of fair and just treatment; respect to the financial and commercial activities of international financial institutions and banks; respect of human rights; and non-intervention to the sovereignty of the states.

- Bank Mellat has been actively involved in banking operations for three decades with excellent records, professional codes of conducts, with numerous customers inside and outside the country.

- Bank Mellat has been engaged in a wide range of activities such as banking operations in the name and on behalf of people of Iran for various activities like opening and holding current and deposit accounts, providing banking and financial services for people's daily banking services, offering mortgages and housing facilities, as well as other commercial banking services inside and outside the country. As one of the leading banks of Iran, Bank Mellat, through the years, has successfully and fully satisfied its customers and domestic and foreign regulators in all its overseas branches ad subsidiaries.

- Bank Mellat, has been involved in financial and commercial operations with no single case of violation of international banking laws and regulations, making very clear-cut transactions locally and internationally. The branches and subsidiaries of this bank have always respected rules and regulations of their host countries and local authorities. It has been categorized as a very successful bank which has already established its banking cooperation and coordination with almost 180 reputable financial institutions and banks worldwide.

In defying the unilateral economic sanction imposed by the current US administration as mentioned above, Bank Mellat expressly and officially declares that:

- The recent allegations made by the USA against Bank Mellat has absolutely no justification and legal ground, and is simply based on illegal and baseless accusations. It is certainly contrary to international law, thus should have no value and effect.

- It is clear that the unilateral economic sanctions of the current US administration on Iranian banks particularly Bank Mellat is seeking nothing but some political gains, which weakens its justifications.

- Therefore, Bank Mellet expects all international banks, and financial institutions and organizations particularly WTO, IMF, World Bank Group, IFC as well as all other monetary, financial and commercial institution not to permit any government to undermine internationally recognized principles for the purpose of gaining political advantages.

Ultimately, Bank Mellat reserves its rights, without prejudice to any of its other rights and privileges, to take any legal action against the current US administration and other concerned USA authorities in any and all domestic and international jurisdictions or organizations, particularly those of financial and monetary institutions, for any losses or damages as may be inflicted on the Bank, on the grounds of libel and defamation, on its personnel, branches, subsidiaries, affiliates and customers directly or indirectly by this irresponsible conduct.

Bank Mellat 2007-10-29

... Payvand News - 11/05/07 ... --

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