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National Strategy for Combating
Terrorism (incl. involved bankers), White
Abkommen CH-USA vom 12.Juli 2006 (Botschaft 06.069) über den "Einsatz von gemeinsamen Ermittlungsgruppen zur Bekämpfung des Terrorismus und der Finanzierung des Terrorismus"
9 Jan 07
Bank Sepah designated as proliferator of weapons of mass destruction,
9 Jan 07 Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence explains Treasury's designation
9 Jan 07 Sepah Facilitating Iranís Weapons Program, US Treasury
8 Sep 06 An overview of O.F.A.C. Regulations involving Sanctions against Iran
Strategy for Combating Terrorism
[see also: CIA Program of Secret Prisons Abroad Confirmed by U.S. President;
Links with "Rogue States": US Treasury leans on Western banks, The Observer]
Today, The President Released His Updated National Strategy For Combating Terrorism (NSCT), Which Outlines The United States Government Strategy To Protect And Defend American Interests At Home And Abroad From Terrorism. ...
Four Priorities Over The Short Term
The Advance Of Freedom And Human Dignity Through Democracy Is The Long-Term Solution To The Transnational Terrorism Of Today. To create the space and time for that long-term solution to take root, there are four steps we are taking in the short term. We will:
Prevent Attacks By Terrorist Networks. Working with partners across the globe, we are using a range of tools at home and abroad to take the fight to the terrorists, deny them entry to the United States, hinder their movement across international boundaries, and establish protective measures to further reduce our vulnerability to attack.
Deny WMD To Rogue States And Terrorist Allies Who Seek To Use Them. Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists is one of the gravest threats we face. We have taken aggressive efforts to deny terrorists access to WMD-related materials, equipment, and expertise, and we are enhancing these activities through an integrated effort at all levels of government and with the private sector and our foreign partners to stay ahead of this dynamic and evolving threat.
Deny Terrorists The Support And Sanctuary Of Rogue States. We make no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor terrorists. We are working to disrupt the flow of resources from states to terrorists while simultaneously end state sponsorship of terrorism.
Deny Terrorists Control Of Any Area They Would Use As A Base And Launching Pad For Terror. We are working to prevent terrorists from exploiting ungoverned and under-governed areas as physical safehavens. These efforts also extend to non-physical or virtual safehavens, such as those existing within legal, cyber, and financial systems.
Financial safehavens. Financial systems are used by terrorist organizations as a fiscal sanctuary in which to store and transfer the funds that support their survival and operations. Terrorist organizations use a variety of financial systems, including formal banking, wire transfers, debit and other stored value cards, online value storage and value transfer systems, the informal hawala system, and cash couriers. Terrorist organizations may be able to take advantage of such financial systems either as the result of willful complicity by financial institutions or as the result of poor oversight and monitoring practices. Domestically, we have hardened our financial systems against terrorist abuse by promulgating effective regulations, requiring financial institutions to report suspicious transactions, and building effective public/private partnerships. We will continue to work with foreign partners to ensure they develop and implement similar regulations, requirements, and partnerships with their financial institutions. We also will continue to use the domestic and international designation and targeted sanctions regimes provided by, among other mechanisms, Executive Order 13224, USA PATRIOT Act Section 311, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 and subsequent resolutions. These tools identify and isolate those actors who form part of terrorist networks or facilitate their activities.
Iranís Bank Sepah Designated by Treasury
The Department of the Treasury today designated Bank Sepah, a state-owned Iranian financial institution for providing support and services to designated Iranian proliferation firms. Bank Sepah International Plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Sepah in the United Kingdom, and Ahmad Derakhshandeh, Bank Sepah's Chairman and Director, were also designated today."Bank Sepah is the financial linchpin of Iran's missile procurement network and has actively assisted Iran's pursuit of missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). "Our action today gives effect to the United Nation's call on all nations to deny financial assistance to Iran's nuclear and missile programs, and we urge other countries likewise to fulfill this serious obligation."
Click here to view Stuart Levey's remarks (see below)
Also, more information on the Treasury's designation (see below)
Remarks of Stuart Levey
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
On the Designation of Bank Sepah for Facilitating Iranís Weapons Program
The world is by now well aware of Iran's defiance of the international community in pursuing its nuclear program and its sponsorship of terrorist organizations that maim and murder innocent civilians. What may be less well-known is that the Government of Iran is facilitating its proliferation and terrorism activities through the world's financial system, using its state-owned banks and an array of front companies and other deceptive techniques specifically designed to evade the controls of responsible financial institutions.
Over the past several months, we have been sharing information with our foreign counterparts and key executives in the private sector about these deceptive practices and discussing how best to safeguard the international financial system against them.
As the evidence of Iran's deceptive financial practices has mounted, financial institutions and other companies worldwide have begun to reevaluate their business relationships with Iran. Many leading financial institutions have either scaled back dramatically or even terminated their Iran-related business entirely. They have done so of their own accord, many concluding that they did not wish to be the banker for a regime that funds terrorism, defies the UN Security Council in pursuing a nuclear program, and deliberately conceals the nature of its business.
We have taken a number of steps to combat Iran's abuse of the international financial system. In September, the Treasury took action against Iran's Bank Saderat, which Iran used to move millions of dollars to terrorist organizations such as Hizballah, HAMAS, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Our action alerted the world's financial community to Bank Saderat's role in funding terrorism and cut the bank off from the U.S. financial system altogether.
On December 23, 2006, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1737, requiring states to take a number of actions to deny Iran access to the materials and services that support its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.
Under the resolution, all governments are obligated to take a number of steps to combat Iran's proliferation activities. Among other things, the resolution requires states to deny Iran any financial assistance, or the transfer of any financial resources or services, related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, or use of prohibited items associated with Iran's nuclear and missile programs. It also contains an annex listing entities and individuals responsible for these programs, and requires states to freeze their assets and those of entities owned or controlled by them.
In accord with these UN obligations, the Treasury today is designating Bank Sepah, the fifth largest Iranian state-owned bank, as a supporter of WMD proliferation. In particular, Sepah provides direct and extensive financial services to Iranian entities responsible for developing missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction. The Treasury is taking this action under our authority aimed at combating proliferation, Executive Order 13382.
Bank Sepah has been a key provider of financial services to the Shahid Hemmat Industries Group (SHIG) and the Shahid Bakeri Industries Group (SBIG), two Iranian missile firms listed in the annex to the Resolution 1737 for their direct role in advancing Iran's ballistic missile programs. Bank Sepah also provides financial services to SHIG's and SBIG's parent entity, Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), which has been designated as a proliferator by the United States for its role in overseeing all of Iran's missile industries. AIO's Director is listed in the annex of Resolution 1737, thereby requiring states to freeze his assets as well as the assets of entities under his ownership or control.
Since at least 2000, Bank Sepah has provided a variety of critical financial services to Iran's missile industry, arranging financing and processing dozens of multi-million dollar transactions for AIO and its subordinates.
The bank has also facilitated business between AIO and North Korea's chief ballistic missile-related exporter, KOMID. Also previously designated by the Treasury, KOMID is known to have provided Iran with missile technology. The financial relationship between Iran and North Korea, as represented by the business handled by Bank Sepah, is of great concern to the United States.
Finally, like certain other Iranian banks and entities, Bank Sepah has engaged in a range of deceptive practices in an effort to avoid detection, including requesting that other financial institutions take its name off of transactions when processing them in the international financial system.
Our action today applies to all branches of Bank Sepah, including those in Paris, Rome, and Frankfurt, its wholly-owned subsidiary in London, and the Bank's chairman and director, as well as its more than 290 branches based in Iran.
The United States urges all governments to comply with their obligations under Resolution 1737 by taking appropriate action against all entities involved in Iran's nuclear or missile programs. The Treasury will continue to monitor and act against any threats that Iran and other rogue actors pose to the international financial system.
Iranís Bank Sepah Designated by Treasury
Sepah Facilitating Iranís Weapons Program
The Department of the Treasury today designated Bank Sepah, a state-owned Iranian financial institution for providing support and services to designated Iranian proliferation firms. Bank Sepah International Plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Sepah in the United Kingdom, and Ahmad Derakhshandeh, Bank Sepah's Chairman and Director, were also designated today.
"Bank Sepah is the financial linchpin of Iran's missile procurement network and has actively assisted Iran's pursuit of missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). "Our action today gives effect to the United Nation's call on all nations to deny financial assistance to Iran's nuclear and missile programs, and we urge other countries likewise to fulfill this serious obligation."
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took this action pursuant to Executive Order 13382, an authority aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters and isolating them financially. Designations under E.O. 13382 prohibit all transactions between the designees and any U.S. person and freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Additionally, the United Nation Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1737 on December 23, 2006, requiring governments worldwide to take steps to combat Iran's illicit conduct, including freezing the assets of named entities and individuals associated with Iran's nuclear and missile programs, as well as the assets of entities owned or controlled by them. The resolution also requires states to prevent the provision to Iran of any financial assistance, or the transfer of any financial resources or services, related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, or use of prohibited items associated with Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
Bank Sepah provides financial support and services to Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Shahid Hemmat Industries Group (SHIG), and the Shahid Bakeri Industries Group (SBIG), which were designated by President George W. Bush on June 29, 2005, in the Annex to E.O. 13382.
AIO, a subsidiary of the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, oversees all of Iran's missile industries and is the overall manager and coordinator of Iran's missile program.
Bank Sepah is AIO's bank of choice, and since at least 2000, Sepah has provided a variety of critical financial services to Iran's missile industry, arranging financing and processing dozens of multi-million dollar transactions for AIO and its subordinates, including SBIG and SHIG.
Through its role as a financial conduit, Bank Sepah has facilitated Iran's international purchases of sensitive material for its missile program. In 2005, Bank Sepah financed a Chinese firm's sale of missile related items to Iran. Also in that year, AIO directed Sepah to transfer well over half of a million dollars to a North Korean firm associated with Komid, a North Korean entity designated for providing Iran with missile technology.
SHIG is responsible for Iran's ballistic missile program, most notably the Shahab series of medium range ballistic missiles based on the North Korean-designed No Dong missile. The Shahab is believed to be capable of carrying unconventional warheads and has a range of at least 1500 kilometers. SHIG has received help from China and North Korea in the development of this missile.
SBIG, an affiliate of Iran's AIO, is also involved in Iran's missile program. Among the weapons SBIG produces is the Fateh-110 missile, with a range of 200 kilometers, and the Fajr rocket systems, a series of North Korean-designed rockets produced under license by SBIG with ranges of between 40 and 100 kilometers. Both systems are capable of being armed with at least chemical warheads.
Bank Sepah is the fifth largest Iranian state-owned bank with more than 290 domestic branches and a presence in Rome, Paris, Frankfurt, and a wholly-owned subsidiary in London. According to the Banker's Almanac, Bank Sepah's total branch assets were USD 13.9 billion as of early 2005.
Background on E.O. 13382
Today's action builds on President Bush's issuance of E.O. 13382 on June 29, 2005. Recognizing the need for additional tools to combat the proliferation of WMD, the President signed the E.O. authorizing the imposition of strong financial sanctions against not only WMD proliferators, but also entities and individuals providing support or services to them.
In the Annex to E.O. 13382, the President identified eight entities operating in North Korea, Iran, and Syria for their support of WMD proliferation. E.O. 13382 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and other relevant agencies, to designate additional entities and individuals providing support or services to the entities identified in the Annex to the Order.
In addition to the entities identified in the annex of E.O. 13382, the Treasury Department has designated 23 entities and two individuals as proliferators of WMD, specifically:
Eight North Korean entities on October 21, 2005;
Two Iranian entities on January 4, 2006;
One Swiss individual and one Swiss entity tied to North Korean proliferation activity on March 30, 2006; and
Four Chinese entities and one U.S. entity tied to Iranian proliferation activity on June 8, 2006.
Two Iranian entities on July 18, 2006;
Three Syrian entities on January 4, 2007; and
One Iranian entity, one UK entity, and one individual tied to Iranian proliferation activity on January 9, 2007.
BANK SEPAH, Emam Khomeini Square, P.O. Box 11364, Tehran, Iran, and all offices worldwide, including, but not limited to:
BANK SEPAH (Branch), Muenchener Strasse 49, P.O. Box 10 03 47, W-6000 Frankfurt am Main 1, Germany
BANK SEPAH (Branch), 5/7 Eastcheap, EC3M 1JT London, England
BANK SEPAH (Representative Office), 650 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10019, U.S.A
BANK SEPAH (Branch), 17 Place Vendome, 75001 Paris, France.
BANK SEPAH (Branch), Via Barberini 50, 00187 Rome, Italy
BANK SEPAH (Representative Office), Ufficio di Rappresentan Za, Via Ugo Foscolo 1, 20121 Milan, Italy