Iran central bank brushes off US banking sanctions

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TEHRAN, Nov 11 (Reuters) Iran's central bank governor today dismissed US sanctions on Iranian banks as ''psychological warfare'' and said they would not prevent Tehran from finding other routes for meeting its banking needs.

The United States added more Iranian banks and also Iran's Revolutionary Guards to a list of institutions under sanctions last month to isolate the country over what Washington says is an attempt to build atomic bombs and alleged support for terrorism.

The Iranian government denies the charges and has brushed off the impact of US and UN sanctions, although executives say doing business in Iran is becoming increasingly difficult as some foreign banks back away from trade deals and financing.

''These (sanctions) are more psychological warfare,'' Iranian central bank Governor Tahmasb Mazaheri told reporters during a conference, the state broadcaster's Web site reported.

''The world is big and having no cooperation with one country does not stop Iran's banking activities,'' he added.

Many international banks, in particular those based in Western countries, have reduced their activities, including US dollar bank accounts held by Iranians abroad and stopping cash transfers in dollars and other currencies to Iran.

But economists say some Asian and other banks have either not taken action so far or been slower to cut back on their business dealings.

The remarks by Mazaheri follow comments last month by an Iranian lawmaker who said the parliament will discuss with the central bank governor and economy minister how to ''confront'' new US sanctions on Iranian banks.

REUTERS KK BD1737

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