Due to the restoration of U.S. sanctions against Iran in the coming months, Tehran has requested to withdraw 300 million euros in cash from its account in German banks and send it by air to Iran. This information, which appeared on Monday, July 9 in the newspaper Bild, was confirmed by the German government. This is part of the money that belongs to Iranian authorities and is kept in the European-Iranian commercial bank in connection with the German Federal Bank, DW reports.
The Federal Office for Supervision of the Financial Sector and the Office of Financial Information have begun verification of this issue in accordance with the law on credit and money laundering. “These checks are carried out according to clear instructions,” said a representative of the German Ministry of Finance. They are done in case the financial transaction arouses suspicions of money laundering or giving financial aid to terrorists.
According to the newspaper, the Iranian authorities argue that the withdrawal of such a large amount of money is needed. It will be given to Iranian citizens who, because of American sanctions, can no longer use credit cards during foreign trips. At the same time, Bild noted that U.S. and Israeli intelligence expressed fears that the money could be used to finance the Iranian military, which is fighting in Syria in support of Bashar Assad.
A representative of the Ministry of Finance of Germany said that this would be the first time so much cash was withdrawn at one time. The situation is complicated by the fact that after Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, Trump announced the restoration of all sanctions against Tehran. This includes, among other things, secondary sanctions with respect to other countries that conduct business with Iran. In particular, the United States is threatening to impose sanctions against banks that have dealings with financial institutions of the Islamic Republic.
A representative of the German Foreign Ministry, commenting on the possibility of Iranian authorities withdrawing the cash, said, “Of course, it is clear that, among other things, the federal government will be checking into the question of whether there are violations of the sanctions.”