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 Treasury Designates Iran-Controlled Bank for Proliferation Future Bank Controlled by Iran’s Bank Melli


3/12/2008

HP-869

 

Washington − The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Future Bank B.S.C. for being controlled by Iran's Bank Melli, which was previously designated by the Treasury Department for facilitating Iran's proliferation activities.

"Bank Melli goes to extraordinary lengths to assist Iran's pursuit of a nuclear capability and ballistic missiles, while also helping other designated entities to dodge sanctions," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).  "Banks and other entities owned or controlled by Bank Melli pose a serious threat to the integrity of the international financial system."

Future Bank is being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13382, an authority aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters.  Bank Melli was designated by the Treasury Department under E.O. 13382 on October 25, 2007.

Future Bank was established in 2004 as a joint venture between two Iranian banks, Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, and a private bank based in Bahrain.  Bank Melli and Bank Saderat each hold 33.3 percent of Future Bank's outstanding shares.  At the time of designation, Bank Melli and Future Bank publicly identify the same individual as chairman of both institutions.  Other information available to the U.S. Government also demonstrates that Future Bank is controlled by Bank Melli.

The Government of Bahrain has taken responsible steps to try to prevent Future Bank from abusing the country's financial system.

"Bahraini authorities have been closely monitoring Future Bank and took some steps after Treasury's designations of Banks Melli and Saderat to attempt to prevent abuse by this institution," Levey continued.

This designation is consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1803 of March 3, 2008, which calls upon Member States to "exercise vigilance" with regard to activities between financial institutions in their countries and all banks domiciled in Iran, in particular, Iran's Bank Melli and Bank Saderat.  UNSCR 1803 specifically calls on States to take such action in order to avoid these activities contributing to either proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapons systems, as referred to in UNSCR 1737.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Bank Melli pursuant to E.O. 13382 for providing, or attempting to provide, financial support for entities involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs.  These include: the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the Defense Industries Organization (DIO), Bank Sepah, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  These entities have also been designated under E.O. 13382 and have been listed in UNSCRs 1737 and 1747.  OFAC also designated four financial institutions that are owned or controlled by Bank Melli, including Melli Bank plc, Arian Bank, Bank Melli Iran ZAO, and Bank Kargoshaee.

On that same day, OFAC designated Bank Saderat pursuant to E.O. 13224 for providing support to the terrorist organizations Hizballah and Hamas.

Since President George W. Bush issued E.O. 13382 in June 2005 and identified eight entities in the Annex to the Order, a total of 51 entities and 12 individuals have been designated as proliferators of WMD.  Specifically, the Treasury Department has designated:

  • 36 entities and 11 individuals tied to Iranian proliferation activity;
  • Nine entities and one individual tied to North Korean proliferation activity; and
  • Three entities tied to Syrian proliferation activity.

Additionally, the State Department has designated three Iranian organizations as entities of proliferation concern, including Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), the DIO, and the IRGC.

The designation announced today is part of the ongoing interagency effort by the United States Government to combat WMD trafficking by exposing and blocking the property of entities and individuals that engage in proliferation activities and their support networks.

Future Bank Identifying Information

FUTURE BANK B.S.C.

Addresses: 
P.O. Box 785, City Centre Building, Government Avenue, Manama, Bahrain
Block 304, City Centre Building, Building 199, Government Avenue, Road 383, Manama, Bahrain
All branches worldwide

For more information on the designation of Bank Melli, please visit: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/hp644.htm.

 

 

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