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Chinese, Russian banks refusing to work with Iran’s regime

At a time when the mullahs ruling Iran are in desperate need of foreign investments, Chinese and Russian banks are distancing from Iran’s markets [A bank in China - File photo]
At a time when the mullahs ruling Iran are in desperate need of foreign investments, Chinese and Russian banks are distancing from Iran’s markets [A bank in China - File photo]

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, August 3, 2020—Majid-reza Hariri, head of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce, has made startling remarks recently about the economic crises engulfing the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran. “Currently we practically have no bank transactions with Russia and China. If an individual with an Iranian passport seeks banking services in these countries, they will be turned down and refused,” Hariri explained, according to an August 2 piece published in the state-run Tejarat News website.

“Follow-ups in this regard indicate that when it comes to Iran even friendly states have been forced to adopt new approaches in line with FATF standards. As a result, they have limited their banking transactions and financial collaborations,” he explained. China and Russia are being very cautious in their financial transactions with Iranian individuals and/or entities and going as far as refusing to carry out such transactions. This report has been confirmed by the head of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and there are measures taking place focusing on this specific issue.

“We must take into consideration that our main dilemma regarding transactions is not in the SWIFT system, but the fact that no bank is willing to collaborate with us because we are under the suspicion of money laundering,” Hariri added.

“We now have two fundamental problems in our banking systems. One is the U.S. sanctions that places all countries collaborating with us in its net of sanctions. The second issue involves the FATF after we refused to accept their conditions. For example, in the past week, this financial body has repeatedly issued statements to banking systems across the globe emphasizing that Iran is a high-risk country and its financial transactions must be strictly controlled,” he continued.



It is worth noting that last week the Canadian Financial Ministry officially announced that any financial transactions that are in any way related to Iran are evaluated as high-risk transactions. The statement reads in this regard:

“The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued a statement in February 2020 which expressed its particular and exceptional concerns regarding Iran's failure to address strategic deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF called on its members to apply effective counter-measures to protect their financial sectors from such risks. As such, Canada's Finance Minister, under subsection 11.42(1) of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) issued this MD to ensure the safety and integrity of Canada's financial system.

“Every bank, credit union, financial services cooperative, caisse populaire, authorized foreign bank and MSB must

  • treat every financial transaction originating from or bound for Iran, regardless of its amount, as a high-risk transaction for the purposes of subsection 9.6(3) of the PCMLTFA;
  • verify the identity of any client (person or entity) requesting or benefiting from such a transaction in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Regulations (PCMLTFR);
  • exercise customer due diligence, including ascertaining the source of funds in any such transaction, the purpose of the transaction and, where appropriate, the beneficial ownership or control of any entity requesting or benefiting from the transaction;
  • keep and retain a record of any such transaction, in accordance with the PCMLTFR; and
  • report all such transactions to the Centre.”