US pressuring foreign banks on Iran

European banks financially penalized in the past for flouting US policy.

May 22, 2006 14:50
1 minute read.
iran nuclear plant 298.88

iran nuke plant 298.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


US pressure has prompted four major European banks - UBS and Credit Suisse of Switzerland; ABN Amro of the Netherlands; and the London-based HSBC - to reduce their business dealings with Iranian banks and businesses in light of Iran's intransigence in the international crisis surrounding its nuclear enrichment program, The New York Times reported Monday. Officials in the Treasury and State Departments have invoked various laws addressing banking and antiterrorism, specifically a 1984 statute banning any dealings with nations deemed sponsors of terrorism and the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. An additional directive signed by President George W. Bush prohibiting business activity with partners suspected of contributing to the proliferation of unconventional weapons specifies Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization and its Atomic Energy Organization as off-limits.

JPOST.COM HIT LIST's most popular articles this past week
Since any bank maintaining a branch in the US, as nearly all European banking institutions do, is subject to US law, the US brings no small amount of leverage to its demands. Foreign banks have already been financially penalized for failing to comply with US decrees regulating foreign business policy. Two years ago, the Federal Reserve fined UBS $100 million for transferring dollars to - among other countries - Iran. ABN Amro was fined $80 million for violating anti-money laundering regulations and sanctions against both Libya and Iran. In addition to legal pressure, officials have also campaigned in Europe and the Middle East to persuade economic powers that Iran is too unstable to function as a viable business partner. US pressure was a factor in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's April decision to raise Iran's rating as a credit risk. Over the last year, Iran's economy has shown a growth rate of less than five percent, and its stock market has plunged over 20%. "I think there is a real and growing sense that there's a risk associated with doing business with Iran, with lending Iran more money, or providing it with a line of credit," Robert G. Joseph, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security told the Times.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Trump and Putin G20 2017
February 20, 2019
Putin: We'll target USA if Washington deploys missiles in Europe