German central bank blocks $400 million cash delivery to Iran ahead of crippling US sanctions


The U.S. campaign to rein in Iran has scored a victory in the German financial sector, after the Deutsche Bundesbank− the country’s central bank− imposed a rule stopping a $400 million cash delivery to Tehran.

Iran’s cash-starved economy desperately needs hard currency ahead of crippling U.S. bank sanctions that will be introduced in November.

Germany allows the Iranian-owned European-Iranian trade bank (EIH) to operate in Hamburg. The EIH holds more than $400 million that Tehran wants to receive in cash ahead of a second wave of U.S. sanctions due in November that impact banks and Iran’s energy sector.

The Deutsche Bundesbank has cooperated with the EIH in the past to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran. The U.S. and the European Union previously sanctioned the EIH for its role in advancing Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions on the EIH were lifted after the world powers reached an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in 2015.

But President Trump effectively tore up the “decaying and rotten” deal in May and vowed to impose greater sanctions on the regime. – READ MORE


The Trump administration is effectively ending United States participation in the Iran nuclear agreement at midnight as Monday turns to Tuesday.

That’s when the Treasury Department is set to restore many of the sanctions the Obama administration lifted as part of the Iran deal.

The Trump administration said the regime in Tehran is on shaky ground, though officials deny they’re trying to collapse Iran’s government.

“Our policy is not regime change but we want to put unprecedented pressure on the government of Iran to change its behavior,” said John Bolton, the White House national security adviser, in an interview on Fox News. “So far they have shown no indication that they are prepared to do that.”

A senior administration official said these restored sanctions are designed to constrict the revenue Iran uses to fund “terrorists, dictators, proxy militias, and the regime’s own cronies.”

They target Iran’s dealing in U.S. dollars, its currency abroad and business in precious metals, aluminum, steel, coal and its auto industry.  In November, the administration said it will restore sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas and banking sector.

In a statement Monday, President Trump restated his opinion that the 2015 international accord to freeze Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions was a “horrible, one-sided deal.” He said it left the Iranian government flush with cash to use to fuel conflict in the Middle East.- READ MORE

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