News Column

Treasury Dept. Lifts Sanctions on Iraqi Bank

May 17, 2013

The US Treasury Department Friday lifted sanctions against an Iraqi bank which had been barred from doing business with US companies because it had close contacts to Iranian financial institutions.

The privately owned Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq was sanctioned in July 2012 as part of sweeping US efforts to make it difficult for foreign countries to purchase Iranian oil.

The aim was to prevent Iran from establishing payment methods that circumvented existing sanctions.

Elaf Islamic Bank had conducted transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of Iranian banks, which have been sanctioned for ties to nuclear proliferation.

After the sanctions were issued, Elaf Islamic Bank "immediately" engaged with treasury officials and froze the accounts of the Export Development Bank of Iran, the Treasury Department said.

"As today's delisting demonstrates, our sanctions are flexible and can be lifted if the conduct that led to the sanction terminates," said David Cohen, an under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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