US Officials Suspected South Korean Banks Aided Iran Before Nuclear Agreement

By Valentina Pasquali

The U.S. Treasury Department suspected two South Korean state-owned banks knowingly violated U.S. sanctions against Iran before a global nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic took effect, court transcripts show. In September 2010, South Korea, then one of the largest importers of Iranian oil, implemented sanctions against Iran under pressure from the United States and simultaneously opened Won-denominated accounts at Woori and IBK for the Islamic Republic to hold the proceeds of its local oil sales. David Cohen, who led the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence from 2011 to 2015 before taking a senior position with the...