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Seeking close economic ties with Iran, Greece the only country that blocked sanctions on the accused of financing terrorism Iranian bank

Posted by moodhacker on November 3, 2016 at 7:15 AM

"Greece has spurned its European allies and Washington by blocking European Union sanctions on an Iranian bank the U.S. accuses of financing terrorism, officials familiar with the move say, a Wall Street Journal aticle wrote on November 2 .

The stance is potentially risky for Greece, which will host President Barack Obama this month,  the article underlines. Greece's relief to Sanderat seems to threaten the already announced by the leftist Greek government's expectations on the US President's mediator role for Greece's dept relief by its creditors .  

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned last year that any firm that deals with Bank Saderat “will risk losing its access to the U.S. financial system.”Some U.S. observers worry that Greece’s relief for Saderat could mark the beginning of a broader decay in European sanctions on Iran.

Athens’s action last month marked the first time a European country has picked apart the sanctions regime meant to remain in place after the July 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran. The regime is designed to constrain Iran’s ability to resume illicit activities and pressure it to stick by the rules.

Washington has the bank under sanctions indefinitely for terror financing, and while  France and the U.K. were seeking new evidence that Saderat was involved in illicit activities, as to ensure the sanctions would be extended beyond October, by EU's high court for which also the 27 of the EU’s 28 governments were prepared to extend them, Greece alone was opposed.

“There were very firm instructions from Athens to block it,” a Greek official said to WSJ.


Greece’s decision came despite entreaties from the U.S. to allow the sanctions to stand

U.S. Treasury officials “raised concerns about the potential removal of sanctions on Bank Saderat with Greek officials and urged them not to impede efforts to reapply sanctions,” a Treasury representative said , according to the aricle .


Greece was warned it could pay a price if it allowed Saderat,  but  Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government undertook to end the sanctions on Bank Saderat while the leftist governement has been eager to rebuild political and energy ties with Tehran , the article's editors note


Mr. Tsipras was among the first Western leaders to lead a big delegation of businesses to Tehran soon after the economic sanctions were lifted in mid-January 2016, and recently, on the meetings held in Athens by  Iran’s central bank chief with Greece's senior bankers and the country’s Vice President Yannis Dragasakis, the Saderat case was discussed, according to officiales who talked to Wall Street Journal.

Find the WSJ article

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani (R) meets with visiting Greek PM Alexis Tsipras in Tehran, Feb. 9, 2016.

PHOTO ON TOP : Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and first Iranian Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri on Tsipras official visit in Iran , Feb.2016

Categories: Greece and Neighbors , Greece in Europe, Greece and the USA

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