Persian Gulf Banks Shield Iran from US Sanctions

A02439161.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Iran has reported assistance from Persian Gulf Arab states in shielding Tehran’s banking system, which have been targeted by the United States.

Iranian Central Bank Gov. Tahmasb Mazaheri said at least two Persian Gulf Cooperation Council states were assisting Iran’s banking system to thwart US sanctions. In an address on Feb. 5, Mazaheri cited Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2007, the Bush administration warned the UAE to stop helping Iran’s banking and trade system.

“Particularly in the region, Bahrain and the [United Arab] Emirates and other neighbors all around Iran’s borders, we have a lot of partners who are working with us in the long term,” Mazaheri said.

This was the first time Tehran has cited the Persian Gulf Arab allies of the United States as facilitators of Iran’s banking system. In 2007, the United States imposed sanctions on leading Iranian banks.

But in an address to the Reuters Islamic Finance Summit in Manama, Mazaheri said PGCC and other regional states were foiling US efforts. He said Bahrain and the UAE would not sever their political and economic ties with Iran despite US pressure.

“Neither us nor our neighbors will sacrifice our long-term interests because of the unilateral pressures,” Mazaheri said.

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