Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Punish Banks that Help Iran Transact in Foreign Currencies

By Colby Adams

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Wednesday that would bar foreign financial institutions that help Iran's central bank circumvent currency restrictions from holding correspondent accounts in the United States. The Iran Sanctions Loophole Elimination Act, a measure authored by longtime sanctions advocate Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), would also prevent U.S. banks from maintaining correspondent accounts for foreign institutions that facilitate foreign currency swaps on behalf of the National Iranian Oil Company and other blacklisted entities. If adopted, the bill would complement separate measures designed to prevent Iran from repatriating its oil profits by locking those funds in domestic bank...