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Iran Looks to Prosecute U.S. ‘Thugs’ Over Latest Financial Sanctions

Iran Looks to Prosecute U.S. ‘Thugs’ Over Latest Financial Sanctions

Iranian judges have said they plan to set up a special court to prosecute American officials over Washington, D.C.’s sanctions campaign against Tehran, in what amounts to a symbolic move showing Iranian fury over what the regime has termed “economic terrorism.”



A woman walks past a mural painted on the outer walls of the former U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, on September 29, 2020.


© ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
A woman walks past a mural painted on the outer walls of the former U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, on September 29, 2020.

Iranian deputy judiciary chief Ali Baqeri told Iranian media Monday that the judiciary will set up a new branch to prosecute supporters of U.S sanctions, the Fars News Agency reported.

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Baqeri’s proposal was welcomed by judiciary chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, who said the U.S. decision to impose further sanctions “makes us more determined to remain committed to our positions and measures against the hegemonic system.”

Baqeri described the latest round of sanctions as a crime against humanity and said the U.S. administration had a “madness for crime” against Iran. Baqeri said the cases could be heard by national and local Iranian courts, which means any prosecution would carry no weight internationally and be a purely symbolic measure.

The U.S. announced last week that it would blacklist 18 Iranian banks that had previously escaped some American sanctions. The move will effectively cut Tehran off from the global financial market as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to cripple the regime ahead of November’s presidential election.

Iranian officials reacted furiously, warning that the measures would prevent the country from accessing much needed humanitarian and medical supplies. The U.S. has repeatedly stressed that the sanctions have loopholes for humanitarian and medical aid. But Tehran says sanctioning banks indirectly limits aid due to the targeted institutions’ role in facilitating imports.

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Why US sanctions on China’s Ant Group may be an empty threat

Why US sanctions on China’s Ant Group may be an empty threat

Washington could soon expand its war against Chinese tech companies by setting its sights on Ant Group, the crown jewel of billionaire Jack Ma’s empire.



a group of people performing on a counter: People walk past the Ant Group Co. mascot displayed at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Jack Ma's Ant Group is seeking to raise $17.5 billion in its Hong Kong share sale and won't seek to lock in cornerstone investors, confident there will be plenty of demand for one of the largest equity deals in the financial hub, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People walk past the Ant Group Co. mascot displayed at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Jack Ma’s Ant Group is seeking to raise $17.5 billion in its Hong Kong share sale and won’t seek to lock in cornerstone investors, confident there will be plenty of demand for one of the largest equity deals in the financial hub, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

But there doesn’t appear to be much the US government could do to realistically hurt the digital finance company. Unlike other Chinese tech firms that have drawn the ire of Washington, Ant does little business in the United States.

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Ant Group was floated as a potential US target by Bloomberg News, which reported last week that the Trump administration is considering restrictions on Ant, as well as Tencent’s WeChat Pay. Citing people familiar with the matter, the news outlet said the US government fears that their digital payment platforms threaten national security.

WeChat is already facing scrutiny in the United States, but sanctions on Ant and its payments app Alipay would be an escalation in the US-China tech war. Alipay and WeChat Pay are daily necessities for hundreds of millions of Chinese merchants and consumers. Ant’s wealth management products are also used by millions.

US authorities are worried about Ant because it represents “new modes of finance that they can no longer control,” said Cameron Johnson, adjunct faculty instructor at New York University in Shanghai and partner at consulting firm Tidal Wave Solutions.

It’s not clear how close Washington may be

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U.S. sanctions Iran’s financial sector

U.S. sanctions Iran’s financial sector

Oct. 8 (UPI) — The Trump administration on Thursday levied new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector in response to the country’s terror activities and nuclear program, the Treasury Department announced.

The department said it targeted 16 Iranian banks, a 17th bank that’s owned or controlled by a sanctioned bank and an 18th bank affiliated with the Iranian military. The U.S. government previously sanctioned most other Iranian banks.

“Today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction eighteen major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programs. Today’s actions will continue to allow for humanitarian transactions to support the Iranian people.”

The Trump administration imposed the sanctions under an executive order to prevent the Iranian government from fundings its nuclear program, missile development, terrorism and other “malign regional influence.”

European governments have warned that such sweeping sanctions will threaten Iran’s ability to import humanitarian items, including food and medicine. The country already is facing economic challenges over the coronavirus pandemic and a currency crisis.

The Trump administration in October 2019 established a channel to deliver humanitarian goods to Iran, but critics say pharmaceutical imports have declined sharply.

Among the entities targeted Thursday were Amin Investment Bank, Bank Keshavarzi Iran, Bank Maskan, Bank Refah Kargaran, Bank-e Shahr, Eghtesad Novin Bank, Gharzolhasaneh Resalat Bank, Hekmat Iranian Bank, Iran Zamin Bank, Karafarin Bank, Khavarmianeh Bank, Mehr Iran Credit Union Bank, Pasargad Bank, Saman Bank, Sarmayeh Bank, Tosee Taavon Bank, Tourism Bank and the Islamic Regional Cooperation Bank.

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US Hits All of Iran’s Financial Sector With Sanctions | Business News

US Hits All of Iran’s Financial Sector With Sanctions | Business News

By MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has blacklisted virtually all of Iran’s financial sector, dealing another blow to an economy that is already reeling under U.S. sanctions. The move will deepen tensions with European nations and others over Iran.

Thursday’s move hits 18 Iranian banks that had thus far escaped the bulk of re-imposed U.S. sanctions and, more importantly, subjects foreign, non-Iranian financial institutions to penalties for doing business with them. Thus, it effectively cuts them off from the international financial system.

“Today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction eighteen major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programs. Today’s actions will continue to allow for humanitarian transactions to support the Iranian people.”

The action targets 16 Iranian banks for their role in the country’s financial sector, one bank for being owned or controlled by a another sanctioned Iranian bank and one military-affiliated bank, Treasury said in a statement. Some of them had been covered by previous designations but Thursday’s move places them all under the same authority covering Iran’s entire financial sector.

The targeted banks are the Amin Investment Bank, Bank Keshavarzi Iran, Bank Maskan, Bank Refah Kargaran, Bank-e Shahr, Eghtesad Novin Bank, Gharzolhasaneh Resalat Bank, Hekmat Iranian Bank, Iran Zamin Bank, Karafarin Bank, Khavarmianeh Bank, Mehr Iran Credit Union Bank, Pasargad Bank, Saman Bank, Sarmayeh Bank, Tosee Taavon Bank, Tourism Bank and Islamic Regional Cooperation Bank.

Foreign companies that do business with those banks were given 45 days to wind down their operations before facing so-called “secondary sanctions.”

European nations have opposed the blanket financial services blacklisting because it will open up their

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US imposes sweeping new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector

US imposes sweeping new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector

The US unilaterally imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran’s financial sector in a move that critics say could have unintended consequences, including a detrimental impact on the ability of the Iranian people to access humanitarian resources.



a sign on the side of a building: The US Treasury Department building is seen in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019. (Photo by Alastair Pike / AFP)    (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP/Getty Images)


© Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images
The US Treasury Department building is seen in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019. (Photo by Alastair Pike / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday’s tranche of sanctions — coming less than a month before the US presidential election — are the latest in the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign that they say is aimed at causing Tehran to change its behavior. That campaign — under which the administration walked away from the Iran nuclear deal — has left the US largely isolated from key European allies.

In a press release, the Treasury Department said it sanctioned 16 banks “for operating in Iran’s financial sector,” one bank “for being owned or controlled by a sanctioned Iranian bank,” and another bank affiliated with the Iranian military.

Under the new sanctions, “all property and interests in property of designated targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to” the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities after a 45-day wind-down period may expose themselves to secondary sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action,” the Treasury Department said.

“Today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction eighteen major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programs.

Secretary of State

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