An increase in number of Iranian businesses recently opened in Georgia has infuriated Washington as delegations from US Treasury have recently visited Tbilisi to discuss the importance of combating such activities,Press TV reports.
An American professor of Iranian origin, Henry Safavi, strongly believes that the US unilateral sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program have been politically-motivated, saying he can hardly believe that Iran could have used Georgia for evading sanctions or money laundering.
“The banking system in Georgia is very rudimentary; small banks, private banks. Money laundering is normally done not by little banks in Georgia but as we have seen by the giants like Standard Chartered [Bank] or HSBC,” Safavi told Press TV.
Although, the government of Georgia froze about 150 bank accounts of Iranian individuals and legal entities, they still believe that attractive business conditions in the country have grabbed the attention of Iranian enterprises.
“The assessment whether any enterprise operating in Georgia is or is not in breach of international legal framework applicable in relation to the sanctions regime is a matter of individual assessment,” a Georgian Justice Ministry official Temur Antelava said.
“Therefore the very fact of operation of certain businesses and enterprises in Georgia does not automatically and per se imply the violation of this framework,” Antelava added.
The country’s officials have promised to examine all “suspicious” deals, but said they will be surprised if any evasion cases are confirmed.
Georgia has visa free travel rules and friendly relations with Iran.
The United States, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
The US and the European Union have imposed a series of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic over these false allegations in order to obstruct the progress of Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
However, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano said on June 17 that the sanctions have not had “any impact” on Iran’s nuclear energy program, which, he added, is making “steady progress.”
Iran strongly rejects the allegation over its nuclear energy activities, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
By Press TV
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