UK to cut financial ties with Iranian banks

LONDON — The U.K. will cut financial ties with Iranian banks over fears about its nuclear program, Britain’s Treasury chief George Osborne said Monday.

By (AP)

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Published: Mon 21 Nov 2011, 10:23 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:21 AM

Osborne said all UK financial institutions will cease business relationships and transactions with all Iranian banks, including the Central Bank of Iran from 3 p.m. GMT (10 a.m. EST) Monday. The ban extends to all branches and subsidiaries of Iranian banks.

Osborne said this is the first time the British government has cut an entire country’s banking sector off from the U.K.’s financial sector.

The British government acted after the International Atomic Energy Agency highlighted fresh concerns about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. Osborne said in a statement that Iran’s nuclear activities “pose a significant risk to the national interests of the UK and countries across the region.”

London is a major financial center and Osborne said the British government’s decision to cut links with Iranian banks will make it harder for them to use the international financial system to support Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.

He added: “This measure will protect the U.K. financial sector from being unknowingly used by Iranian banks for proliferation related transactions.”

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