Iran News ...


02/18/16

Iranian Banks Reconnect With Global Banking System

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian banks are starting to get reconnected to the international payments system known as SWIFT, allowing the resumption of cross-border transfers for the first time in four years.

The move follows the lifting of economic sanctions last month under the landmark nuclear deal with world powers, which enabled Iran's Central Bank and 15 other banks to restore access to SWIFT starting on February 13, banking officials said on February 17.

The banks' inability to make foreign transfers had become a political issue recently, with conservative critics complaining that the nuclear deal championed by President Hassan Rohani was not delivering promised benefits.

Reuters reported that the lack of bank access due to sanctions imposed in 2012 had been slowing the resumption of oil shipments to Europe.

Officials did not name the banks reconnected to SWIFT, but Iranian media said they included Bank Melli, Iran's largest bank.

Onur Ozan, a manager at Belgium-based SWIFT, said the network is still working on reconnecting other Iranian applicants.

Iranian banks linked to the Revolutionary Guards remain under U.S. sanctions and U.S. banks are still prohibited from doing business with Iran.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

Court Overrules EU Fund Freeze On Iranian Bank

Source: RFE/RL

An EU court has ruled that the bloc had unfairly frozen the assets of an Iranian bank for six years, dismissing an appeal brought by the European Council.


Mellat Bank

The European Court of Justice said on February 18 that Bank Mellat's funds should not have been frozen between July 2010 and January 2016.

The court said it rejected the logic tying the bank to Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

The European Council froze the funds of a number of Iranian financial entities from 2010 to combat Iranian activities that could have led to it developing nuclear weapons.

In 2013, the EU General Court annulled the measures concerning Bank Mellat, prompting an appeal to the European Court of Justice.

Bank Mellat's lawyers have said the ruling would have major implications for legal action it could take over losses and damage to its reputation.

The EU lifted economic sanctions against Iran last month as part of an international agreement over Tehran's nuclear program.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters


Copyright (c) 2016 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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