Iran is trying to purchase foreign banks and money-exchange bureaus around the
world in an effort to circumvent sanctions aimed at preventing the delivery of
nuclear and missile components to it, according to a report prepared for the UN
The report was submitted three weeks ago to the
Security Council by the UN Panel of Experts, a group that monitors compliance
with UN sanctions imposed on Iran.
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The report was leaked to the Internet
and obtained by a number of leading Israeli-defense analysts.
found that Iran often uses money-exchange bureaus overseas to transfer money to,
and then has it converted into dollars or euros.
The bureau then
transfers the money to an intermediary bank – in places like Dubai and Turkey –
and then to a bank in the manufacturer’s country.
“The end-user’s name
does not appear on the transaction, so the ultimate recipient of funds is not
aware they are coming from a sanctioned entity,” the report
The experts also warned that Iran is attempting to build
covert financial infrastructures to facilitate the deals it requires to continue
its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
One country told the panel
that Iran has made 10 different attempts to buy foreign banks since 2009, and
has also tried setting up banking institutions in parts of South
To transfer the equipment purchased, Iran uses its fleet of
cargo freighters, controlled by the stateowned IRISL shipping
The report revealed that between late 2008 and mid-2010, 76 out
of 123 of IRISL’s vessels were renamed with many of the Farsi names replaced by
English ones, and in some cases with new paint jobs. In addition, as of 2010,
more than 70 percent of Iranian-owned vessels were registered in Malta, a
wellknown flag of convenience.
The report urges the Security Council to
enforce rigorous end-user checks and vigilance to the risk of re-export on the
part of all exporters.
It stated that Iranian agents were already buying
items that do not correspond with Iran’s current needs, out of concern that it
will run into shortages in the future.