By John Lee.
Bloomberg reports that several of Iran’s biggest banks have been dragged into a fight between the government and its hardline opponents, as disputes over last year’s nuclear deal roil domestic politics months ahead of presidential elections.
The nation’s leading conservative newspaper published photos of letters purportedly sent by two lenders, Bank Mellat and Bank Sepah, declining to serve companies and individuals working for a conglomerate owned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Kayhan, whose editor is appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made similar claims about other lenders, and accused Iranian authorities of pandering to the international community, saying: “We’ve committed ourselves to self-sanctioning!”
Central bank efforts to improve Iran’s standing with the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which aims to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, led a number of state-run and private banks to penalize parts of the armed forces, the paper alleged.