Germany Reviews Iran Financial Transfer Ahead of U.S. Sanctions

Source: Bloomberg
  •  Plan by trade bank in Hamburg under scrutiny: Finance Ministry

  •  U.S. to start tightening financial sanctions in August

A plan by Iran to repatriate money from a Hamburg-based bank is under scrutiny by German regulators, including an agency charged with detecting terrorism funding, the Finance Ministry said.

The case involves the European-Iranian Trade Bank, a conduit for companies doing business with Iran for more than 40 years, Finance Ministry spokeswoman Jeanette Schwamberger told reporters in Berlin on Monday. She declined to comment on a Bild newspaper report that the bank intends to fly home 300 million euros ($353 million) in cash to help avoid a squeeze once expanded U.S. financial sanctions take effect this year.

The case is under review by Germany’s Bafin markets regulator and the customs agency’s Financial Intelligence Unit, which examines transactions for possible money laundering or terror financing, Schwamberger said. A Bafin spokesman declined to comment.

The U.S. plans to restore financial sanctions and other punitive measures in two stages starting in August. That follows President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a 2015 deal that lifted most sanctions on Iran in exchange for strict limits on its nuclear work.