U.S. names Iran's central bank head 'specially designated global terrorist'

ImageValiollah Seif the governor of Iran's central bank at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C.

ImageValiollah Seif the governor of Iran's central bank at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C.

Tuesday's action seeks to cut off what the United States called a "critical" banking network for Iran, and deny those blacklisted access to the global financial system. The action against Seif does not sanction the Central Bank of Iran, though the bank is targeted under sanctions Trump reinstated when he withdrew from the nuclear deal.

Despite Tarzali and Seif's designations, the Central Bank of Iran itself remains unsanctioned, according to the department.

Seif is also under attack inside Iran.

Though it's uncommon to sanction central financial institution officers, the US has carried out it earlier than. He's being named a "specially designated global terrorist".

For firms already operating in Iran, there is a period of 3 to 6 months to end the business, otherwise they will be denied access to the USA market.

Ghasemi said this was an attempt to coerce other countries who have opposed the USA sanctions decision to fall in behind America, AFP reports. That means that anyone in any country who does business with Seif or Tarzali could be punished. Trump called the deal unfair and doubted that it would limit the nuclear ambitions of Tehran. To the contrary, Britain, France and Germany are working to salvage it.

There was no quick remark Tuesday evening from Iranian officers.

The U.S. faced a May 12 deadline to decide whether or not to remain in the Iran nuclear deal. The US has long done this as a way of preventing European and Asian businesses making deals with Iran, despite worldwide sanctions no longer barring such deals. The sanctions concentrating on Iran's central financial institution executives are among the first actions by Trump's administration since pulling out of the deal to begin ramping up that financial strain.

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But experts have cast doubt on that narrative and whether if true it would apply to Iran. "All of this is another arrow in the quiver".

Since its withdrawal from the nuclear deal last week, the U.S. has announced new sanctions targeting the Revolutionary Guards financial networks. Those Western "hard currencies" can be used to fund extremist elements, such as in Lebanon and Syria.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a live broadcast that if President Trump follows through with his promise to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, the United States "will surely regret it". Seif often visits Washington to attend conferences of the Worldwide Financial Fund.

He has helped guide Iran's economy through the web of previous sanctions placed on that country.

Under the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, Tehran was provided billions of dollars in relief from financial sanctions in return for curbing its nuclear program.

In a 2016 meeting of the Council on Foreign Relation in Washington, Seif said Iran achieved "almost nothing" from the deal.

Bank governor Valiollah Seif is accused of allowing funds to be transferred to Lebanon's Hezbollah movement from Iran's central bank, with Iraq's al-Bilad Islamic Bank acting as an intermediary. Those funds were then used to "enrich and support the violent and radical agenda of Hezbollah", Treasury said.

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