European companies may be lining up at the gate to do business with Iran in the event of a sanctions rollback but don't expect the continent's banks to go rushing in anytime soon.
For the first time, U.S. officials have blacklisted a foreign financial institution using a July 2012 executive order that prohibits significant transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
Even with limited sanctions relief from the United States, foreign banks have been reluctant to process transactions for Iran under the terms of a newly-extended multilateral accord, an American official said Tuesday.
U.S. officials Tuesday charged a blacklisted Chinese national with using shell companies to maintain accounts at American banks and offered five million dollars for information on his whereabouts.
As the Obama administration weighs punitive measures against Russia, part of its calculus will be the degree to which Russian officials can undermine U.S. national interests, including sanctions against Iran.
Nearly a month after the start of a 6-month abatement of Iran sanctions, U.S. officials have offered scant details on a promised financial stream for charitable donations to the country. In fact, say some humanitarian aid groups, nothing has changed at all.
Governmental documents published Monday cleared the way for foreign financial institutions to process limited transactions for Iranians but U.S. banks will be unlikely to relax their sanctions policies, according to experts.
As early as Monday, banks will be able to do what has become seemingly unthinkable in the sanctions compliance field during recent years: ramp up their ties to Iran.
A bipartisan bill filed Thursday in the U.S. Senate would impose new trade and banking restrictions on Iran if it fails to meet the terms of last months multinational nuclear agreement.
Western financial institutions won't radically amend their sanctions controls in response to an agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a relaxation of banking restrictions, say former officials.
Lawmakers should press ahead with Iran sanctions bills despite pressure to put off new restrictions while American and Iranian officials hold nuclear talks, according to David Ibsen, executive director of United Against Nuclear Iran.
U.S. lawmakers will seek to advance a bill next week that would impose sanctions against companies that trade with Iran unless they agree to reduce their ties to the country within 180 days.
Foreign financial institutions and other non-U.S. companies newly tasked with disclosing when their affiliates deal with Iranian government officials are finding the requirements onerous, according to compliance officers and consultants.
The government of Iran and banks under its influence are increasingly using investments in foreign financial institutions as a means to circumvent sanctions, including restrictions on interbank messages, say sources.
U.S. House lawmakers are working to introduce a new round of comprehensive sanctions against Iran by March in an effort to curtail the country's alleged nuclear weapons program, say sources.
EU sanctions imposed against Iran earlier this month will likely further sever the Persian nation's few remaining ties to the continent's financial sector, including trade finance deals, say industry consultants.
New U.S. Treasury Department banking restrictions designed to hamstring Iran's nuclear program will curtail personal remittances and the ability to receive payments for licensed exports to the country, say analysts.
A federal appeals court could rule within weeks on whether an exiled Iranian opposition group should be removed from a sanctions list maintained by the U.S. State Department.