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Thu 28 Feb 2008 01:03 PM

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US tells UAE to take 'close look' at Iran banks

Treasury warns Emirates to prevent its banking system from Iranian abuse.

US tells UAE to take 'close look' at Iran banks
CLOSE LOOK: The US has put pressure on the UAE to crack down on Iranian banks operating in the Emirates. (Getty Images)

The US Treasury's top sanctions official said on Thursday the UAE should take a "very close look" at Iranian banks in the UAE and should prevent its banking system from abuse.

"There are issues that the UAE is grappling with. They also need to do due diligence and be extremely careful not to have their financial system abused," Stuart Levey, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in Dubai on Thursday, during a visit to ask UAE officials to help apply pressure on Iran.

"That means taking a very close look at the Iranian banks operating here," he added, in an apparent reference to Bank Melli and Bank Saderat.

Levey said an international anti-money laundering body will alert members to deficiences in Iran's system of combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

"FATF confirms its call to all its members and urges all jurisdictions to advise their financial institutions to take the risk arising from deficencies in Iran's anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism regimes into account for enhanced due diligence."

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, is a 34-nation group set up by the Group of Seven industrial nations in 1989 to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

Levey is touring Middle East financial centers, such as US allies Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar, to build support for a US campaign to raise international pressure on Iran and combat terrorist financing. (Reuters)

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ABDVISHWANATH 12 years ago

Iran Should wake up that why they are supporting the Arab cause of Palestine. Iran should setup its own free trade zone and start business from there,as Arab nations are already supporting anything that effects there business sidelining islam and muslims.Arab interests and muslim benifets are different things.Non arab muslim nations like Pakistan ,Afghanistan and Iran are sensitive to Islam that is why these countries must and should make a seperate pact of trade and commerce with ghawadar and kish islands as promotion zones.As arab world are self centered and let us forget and stop supporting Arab cause of Palestine.Let the Ally of USA like all GCC countries fight for Arab Land of Palestine.As no Arab country every came or even spoke about Afghanistan and Kashmir. Let us wake up otherwise who is going to help us.