WASHINGTON D.C.: The United States Treasury Department on Thursday designated Iran's Bank Refah for providing financial services that resulted in millions of dollars of weapons-related purchases.
In recent years, Bank Refah has provided services to the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA).
The Iranian bank facilitated millions of dollars for purchasing a variety of weapons including missiles and tanks. These financial services also enabled Iran's leadership to maintain its fighter jets and submarines.
Bank Refah also facilitated payments from HESA to businesses and individuals linked to Iran's weapons-related procurement. The action taken by the Treasury Department was taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382.
The fore mentioned order is aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters and thus, isolating them from the U.S. financial and commercial systems.
"Treasury has now exposed and sanctioned 20 banks owned by the Government of Iran for supporting Iran's nuclear and missile programs or terrorism," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.
MODAFL is the branch of the Iranian Army that oversees the Islamic nation's ballistic missile program and was designated in 2007. HESA was designated for providing support to the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in 2008.
In August 2010, the Treasury Department issued the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations which allowed the department to prohibit, or impose strict conditions on foreign financial institutions' access to the U.S. financial system for providing significant financial services for a bank designated by the U.S.
Bank Refah is the 20th financial institution designated by the United States for its connection with Iran’s WMD proliferation or support for international terrorism. The European Union previously imposed sanctions against the Tehran-based bank in July 2010.
"The pervasiveness of this illicit conduct explains why legitimate financial institutions everywhere are deciding to shun Iranian banks," added Levey.
(BNO NEWS )