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Iran’s Sepah Bank Dismisses US Restrictions Against It January 11, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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TEHRAN (Dow Jones)–Iran’s Bank Sepah in a statement Thursday dismissed the U.S. government’s restrictions against it as unjustifiable and politically motivated and said it would file legal measures against it.

“Bank Sepah, while repudiating the unfounded fabrications and accusations, retains the right for itself to undertake legal measures in the near future,” the bank said in its statement. The statement didn’t specify with which international institution it would file the complaint against the U.S. government’s measures.

The U.S. Treasury Department, in an attempt to limit Iran’s access to international financial facilities, has blacklisted Iran’s Bank Sepah, the country’s fifth-largest bank that was established in 1925, on charges of helping finance Iran’s weapons production, geared to its nuclear weapons program.

Consequent to the decision, all U.S. banks and citizens are banned from undertaking any financial transactions with the bank.

“Undoubtedly, the decision will not have any impact or impose restrictions in the existing transactions and no disruption in the fulfillment of its current or future financial commitments,” the bank said.

In a similar move, the U.S. Treasury Department in September cut off all of state-owned Bank Saderat’s dealings with the U.S. financial system as part of its strategy of limiting the Iran’s access to the global financial system.

The Central Bank of Iran said then that it would file a complaint with the International Monetary Fund against the U.S. Treasury Department for its move against the bank.

The move against Bank Sepah, coming in the wake of the restrictive move against Bank Saderat, is part of the U.S. and its European allies’ strategy of increasing financial and psychological pressure on Iran, recognizing that the Dec. 23 U.N. Security Council resolution will not be able to force Iran to abandon its controversial uranium enrichment program.

Commerzbank AG (CRZBY), Germany’s second-largest bank said earlier this week it will join other European banks in curtailing its commercial transactions with Iran.

By Hashem Kalantari, contributing Dow Jones Newswires

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