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Iran's Post Bank - International Connections and U.S. Relationships

The U.S. Treasury designated Post Bank of Iran as having ties to Bank Sepah. Both banks are provided financial services to Iran’s ballistic missile program. Post Bank of Iran has provided millions of dollars to North Korean weapons manufacturers as well.



The Terror Finance Blog
June 16, 2010
Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, June 16, 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department officially designated Post Bank of Iran for “providing financial services to, and acting on behalf of, Bank Sepah”. Both financial institutions are now designated under Executive Order (EO) 13382. Post Bank reportedly facilitated business on behalf of Bank Sepah for Iran's defense industries and overseas beneficiaries. Originally Bank Sepah was designated for providing financial services to Iran's missile industry, including two entities linked to Iran's ballistic missile program. Bank Sepah was also subsequently designated by the United Nations in March 2007 under UNSCR 1747.

Specifically, Post Bank is accused of facilitating millions of dollars between an Iranian-based ‘Hong Kong Electronics’ which provided support to designated North Korean entities, including Tanchon Commerical Bank (designated under EO 13382 and UNSCR 1717) and a weapons proliferator, Korea Mining Development Corporation (designated under EO 13382)

According to the prestigious London headquartered global database Bankers’ Almanac, owned by the Reed business information group, Post Bank reportedly maintains eight correspondent banking relationships. These include banks located in countries that are strong allies of the United States. Correspondent banks provide financial services, such as access to foreign currencies and markets, to other banking institutions when they do not have a physical presence in any given location.

Correspondent Relationships include the following:

  1. BANCA UBAE SpA – This bank is located in Italy and offers Post Bank Euros (EUR). Banca UBAE SpA has no U.S. correspondent bank.
  2. Bank of Ceylon – This bank is located in Sri Lanka and offers Post Bank British Pound Sterling (GBP). The Bank also does business with Bank Sepah (Asian Clearing Units [ACU] - Swift/BIC: BCEY LK LX 125; Account Number: 1977945). The Bank of Ceylon has seven correspondent banking relationships with American banks, including: 1) Citibank NA; 2) Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas; 3) Habib American Bank; 4) HSBC Bank USA NA; 5) JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association; 6) Standard Chartered Bank; 7) Wells Fargo Bank NA Bank NA.
  3. Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG – This bank is located in Germany and offers Post Bank Euros (EUR). This bank has correspondent relationships with several designated Iranian banks including: Persia International PLC (EUR - Swift/BIC: EIHB DE HH; Account Number: 1620630302); Export Development Bank of Iran (EUR - Swift/BIC: EIHB DE HH; Account Number: 16-21220-302); Bank Mellat (EUR - Swift/BIC: EIHB DE HH; Account number: 1620050330); Mellat S/B CJSC, located in Armenia (EUR - Swift/BIC: EIHB DE HH; Account Number: 16.20640.103); and Bank Sepah (US Dollars [USD] - Swift/BIC: EIHB DE HH; Account Number: 5620110010, EUR - Swift/BIC: EIHB DE HH; Account Number: 1620110023). Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG has been categorized by the U.S. Treasury Department as a “money laundering threat.”
  4. Emirates NBD Bank PJSC – This bank is located in Dubai and offers Post Bank United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). The Bank does business with several designated entities, including: Export Development Bank of Iran (EUR - Swift/BIC: EBIL AE AD; Account Number: 1261268885102, United Arab Emirates Dirham [AED] - Swift/BIC: EBIL AE AD; Account Number: 1261268885101, Saudi Riyals [SAR] - Swift/BIC: EBIL AE AD; Account Number: 0004 829921 682); Bank Mellat (AED - Swift/BIC: EBIL AE AD; Account Number: 1261077726104); Persia International PLC (EUR - Swift/BIC: EBIL AE AD; Account Number: 1261270982402, AED - Swift/BIC: EBIL AE AD; Account Number: 1261270982401); and Bank Sepah (AED - Swift/BIC: EBIL AE AD; Account Number: 1261283462901). Emirates NBD Bank has three correspondent banks in the U.S., including: 1) The Bank of New York Mellon; 2) Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas; and 3) JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association.
  5. Future Bank BSC – This bank is located in Bahrain and offers Post Bank Euros (EUR). It has been designated by the U.S. through Executive Order 13382, for its role in proliferating weapons of mass destruction. It maintains no U.S. correspondent banking relationships.
  6. Landesbank Baden-Württemberg – This bank is located in Germany and offers Post Bank Euros (EUR). It does business with one other designated entity, the Export Development Bank of Iran (EUR - Swift/BIC: SOLA DE ST; Account Number: 2800947). Landesbank maintains a U.S. correspondent relationship with The Bank of New York Mellon.
  7. United Bank AG – This bank is located in Switzerland and offers Post Bank Swiss Franks (CHF). It also maintains two other correspondent banking relationships with designated Iranian entities: Export Development Bank of Iran (CHF - Swift/BIC: UNIL CH ZZ; Account Number: 875.03.01001); and Bank Melli (CHF - Swift/BIC: UNIL CH ZZ; Account Number: 873.03.01001). While United Bank AG maintains no U.S. correspondent banking relationships in the United States it does get its dollars from UBS AG in Zürich.
  8. Persia International Bank Plc – This bank is located in the United Kingdom and offers Post Bank Euros (EUR) and British Pound Sterling (GBP). Persia International has been designated by the U.S. for its role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destructions. It also maintains a correspondent relationship with one designated Iranian entity Mellat S/B CJSC, located in Armenia (EUR - Swift/BIC: PIBP GB 2L; Account Number: 25QBR04065900, GBP - Swift/BIC: PIBP GB 2L; Account Number: 01QBR04065900).

OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION

  • Post Bank is owned 100% by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • The Bank’s website is http://www.postbank.ir/.
  • Post Bank’s Swift Code is PBIR IR TH.

NOTE FOR EDITORS

  • To date, the United Nations has designated four financial institutions in compliance with Security Council Resolutions 1747, 1803 and 1929.
    • Designated entities include Bank Sepah, Bank Melli, Bank Saderat and First East Export Bank.
  • The Treasury Department has now designated 17 Iranian banks per EO 13382, charging them with the use of deceptive financial practices to support terrorist groups and the nuclear program.
    • These banks include: Arian Bank (Afghanistan); Banco Internacional de Desarrollo, CA Banco Universal (Venezuela); Bank Melli Iran ZAO (Russia); Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG (Germany); Export Development Bank of Iran (Iran); First East Export Bank (Malaysia); Future Bank (Bahrain); Kargoshaee Bank (Iran); Mellat Bank (Iran); Mellat Bank SB CJSC (Armenia); Bank Melli (Iran); Bank Melli PLC (United Kingdom); Persia International PLC (United Kingdom); Post Bank (Iran); Bank Saderat (Iran); Bank Sepah (Iran); Bank Sepah PLC (United Kingdom).
  • There are reportedly 44 international banks providing banking services to the 17 banks designated by the Treasury Department. Most of these banks either have a physical presence in the United States and/or themselves have a correspondent banking relationship with American banks, including but not limited to the U.S. banks listed above.
  • The “long arm provision” of the PATRIOT Act provides the U.S. government with the legal has the legal authority to freeze any funds deposited in any foreign financial institution on behalf of designated Iranian banks, as long as the foreign bank in question has U.S. operations or maintains a correspondent relationship with an American bank.

For a complete financial map of Iran’s banking sector and correspondent banking relationships (including account numbers and SWIFT/BIC codes) download Iran’s Dirty Banking: How the Islamic Republic is Skirting International Financial Sanctions


 

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