Friday, September 08, 2006
Iranian bank denied access to U.S. financial system
(CNN) -- The Bush administration has cut off Iran's sizable Bank Saderat from "all access to the U.S. financial system, direct or indirect," the Treasury Department announced Friday.

The department said the bank, which has about 3,400 branch offices, uses the bank "to transfer money to terrorist organizations" -- as deemed by the U.S. government -- such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

"Bank Saderat facilitates Iran's transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations each year," said Stuart Levey, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. "We will no longer allow a bank like Saderat to do business in the American financial system."

Iranian financial institutions are already prohibited from directly accessing the U.S. financial system, but can typically do so indirectly by working through third-country banks. By early next week, when the amendment is formally filed, Saderat will not be able to carry out such "U-turn transactions," the Treasury Department said.
Posted By CNN's Washington Bureau: 9/08/2006 02:25:00 PM ET | Permalink
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