Ian Patrick, FISM News
The United States issued fresh sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, targeting 18 Iranian banks under U.S. Executive Order 13902 in an effort to further shut Iran out of the global banking system as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran. However, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that the prohibitions did not apply to transactions for the provision of agricultural commodities, food, medicine or medical devices to Iran.
While experts have said such a U.S. step could erode Iran’s ability to secure humanitarian goods by making foreign banks even more reluctant to facilitate such transactions, the Treasury stressed that the action under the Executive Order does not affect existing authorizations for humanitarian trade, which remain in force.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal struck by his predecessor and began reimposing U.S. sanctions that had been eased under the accord. The sanctions Trump has reinstated target everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities, and while they exempt food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies, many foreign banks are already deterred from doing business with the Islamic Republic – including for humanitarian deals.
This recent move freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from doing business with them. The banks affected are 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.
Sourced from Reuters American Wire, edited for brevity