Turkish banks cut links with Iranian lender
Pressure from the United States on Turkish banks about Iran is having a profound effect, the Reuters reported.
Iran's Bank Mellat, which has three branches in Turkey, is "unable to operate in Turkey," the head of the bank's Turkish unit, Younes Hormozi, told. All Turkish banks have cut links with Mellat due to U.S. pressure, reported the agency.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday identified an Iranian bank that it said was "used by that country's government to evade international sanctions aimed at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
State-owned Bank of Industry and Mines provided financial services to Bank Mellat and Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank, two Iranian banks previously designated in connection with proliferation activities, the Treasury said, according to Bloomberg News.
The Bank of Industry and Mines has participated in a scheme since July 2010 to circumvent the sanctions, the Treasury claimed. Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank then distributed payments to Bank Mellat's customers in Europe, according to the statement.
In June, 2010, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.
Resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, as well as additional unilateral sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress and the foreign ministers of all EU countries, were primarily directed against the banking, financial and energy sectors of Iran.
Restrictions imposed by the EU include the ban on the sale of equipment, technologies and services to Iran's energy sector; the same measure refers to the refining industry. New investments in Iran's energy sector have also been also prohibited as a whole.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes of providing energy, but many other countries contend that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
In August 2010, Treasury issued the Iran Financial Sanctions Regulations to prohibit or impose conditions on foreign financial institutions with access to U.S. institutions.