This letter is regarding Wall Street Journal's article "U.S. Weighs Sanctions On Iran's Central Bank" (page one, Feb. 25).
Iranian private banks weren't subject to sanctions by the U.S. Treasury; only a few state-owned Iranian banks were recently prohibited from settling transactions in U.S. dollars, and consequently they have stopped their U.S.-dollar transactions. Since all Iranian imports and exports, including crude-oil transactions, are traded in non-U.S. currencies, the Central Bank of Iran doesn't need to "assist" state-owned banks in their U.S.-dollar transactions. It is, therefore, not the case that CBI helps Iranian banks to skirt sanctions.Being a very vigilant regulator and as per its mandate, CBI continues to supervise timely fulfillment of commitments by the Iranian banking system within the framework of the recognized international standards and practices. CBI prides itself over its clean and default-free performance record despite all unjust, illegal pressures and threats from certain institutions, while maintaining a close watch to prevent any disruption to its sound and legal flow of financial transactions world-wide. Even when Bank Sepah came under sanctions by the United Nations Security Council, CBI was vigilant to assure that the remaining commitments of Bank Sepah are fulfilled as licensed by relevant U.N. authorities.
As part of its constructive cooperation with international financial organizations and regulatory and supervisory bodies, CBI in 2002 circulated a number of instructions on anti-money laundering to Iranian banks. CBI's follow-up efforts recently bore fruit as the parliament recently approved a bill on anti-money laundering. Additionally, in a letter to the Financial Action Task Force, CBI applied for membership. The presence of CBI officials in a recent meeting with FATF, to which reference is made in your article, is indicative of the great importance CBI attaches to ensuring that the Iranian banking system adheres to best international practices and respects international laws. The international financial community, meanwhile, has appreciated the professionalism of the management and staff of the CBI.
... Payvand News - 04/18/08 ... --