EU sanctions on Iran’s Bank Melli ‘political’: CEO

TEHRAN, May 25 (MNA) – The decision made by the EU, and backed by the U.S., to sanction Bank Melli of Iran (BMI) foreign branches is a political action and not related to the bank’s performance, BMI chief executive officer said here on Monday.

The Mehr News Agency quoted Mahmoud-Reza Khavari as saying that BMI has filed a complaint against the EU over the sanctions.

 

“Bank Melli Iran has to stand up and defend itself in order to lift the sanctions against the bank’s foreign branches,” Khavari said.

 

Last year, The European Union slapped sanctions against BMI and froze the funds and assets of the bank in Europe, Press TV reported.

 

As a result of the EU sanctions, the bank’s branches in the European cities of London, Hamburg and Paris ceased operations.

 

Tehran has called the EU sanctions “illegal,” saying that they will not help create an atmosphere for a diplomatic resolution.

 

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman at the time, Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said the sanctions were “meaningless and contrary to international law.”

 

“The sanctions are illegal and show the EU’s double standards,” he added.

 

In recent years, the U.S. has accused Iranian banks including BMI of providing financial services to what it terms “Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”

 

In a statement published on its web site, BMI refutes the U.S. allegations and categorically denies involvement in any “deceptive banking practice.”

 

MF/MRK

END

MNA

News Code 33959

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