After U.S. push, Berlin plans rules that could block Iran transaction

The Wall Street Journal – German authorities will introduce financial rules this month that could delay or even block an attempt by the liquidity-strapped Iranian regime to claim cash parked in Germany that has become an irritant in the relationship between Washington and Berlin.

U.S. officials said new anti-money-laundering rules being drafted by the German central bank could complicate and perhaps stop Iran from shipping €300 million in cash currently held by an Iranian-controlled bank in Hamburg. The central bank confirmed the new rules without elaborating on the reasons for the change.

The amendment follows intense lobbying of the German government and the central bank by the U.S. to stop the Islamic Republic from claiming the assets in what U.S. diplomats think is a desperate scramble to boost Iran’s foreign reserves and shore up its own currency after Washington pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Effective August 25, the amended rules create new powers to block transactions if their execution could threaten “to end important relationships with central banks and financial institutions of third countries,” according to a copy of the rules provided by the Bundesbank on Friday.

 

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