US Government moves against Iranian bank
of helping spread weapons of mass destruction.
The action against Bank Sepah,
institution, means any banks accounts or other financial assets belonging to
the bank found in the
prohibited from doing business with the financial institution.
"Bank Sepah is the financial linchpin of
and has actively assisted
weapons of mass destruction," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's under secretary
for terrorism and financial intelligence.
The Treasury Department also added to its terror-blocking list Bank Sepah
International Plc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank Sepah, and Ahmad
Derakhshandeh, chairman and director of Bank Sepah.
The department alleges that Bank Sepah provides financial support and
Iranian missile firms - Shahid Hemmat Industries Group and the Shahid Bakeri
Industries Group. The
helping to spread weapons of mass destruction.
The government said that Bank Sepah is the "bank of choice" - at least since
2000 - for
Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, that oversees all of
Bank Sepah "has provided a variety of critical financial services to
missile industry, arranging financing and processing dozens of multimillion
dollar transactions" for
affiliates, Levey said.
The government also alleged that the bank has facilitated business between
the Aerospace Industries Organization and North Korea's chief ballistic
missile-related exporter, KOMID, which the government says has provided Iran
with missile technology.
"The financial relationship between
the business handled by Bank Sepah, is of great concern to the
Levey said Tuesday's action applies to all branches of Bank Sepah, including
as well as more than 290 branches based in
said, conducted a "great deal" of the transactions the
The department has the power to act against Bank Sepah under an executive
order issued by President Bush in June 2005.
It marked the
Last year, the Treasury Department moved to cut off from the
system Bank Saderat - a big Iranian state-owned bank. The government said
Last month, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose economic
uranium enrichment program that the