Author Topic: Bank of Hawaii Unfreezes Iranian Accounts  (Read 293 times)

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Offline flowers

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Bank of Hawaii Unfreezes Iranian Accounts
« on: March 12, 2014, 02:03:21 PM »

The Bank of Hawaii announced on Tuesday that it had reinstated access to accounts for Iranian nationals who had seen them frozen due to U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

The bank said that it unfroze these accounts following a pressure campaign by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a pro-Tehran advocacy group long suspected of lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.

These Iranian accounts had been frozen in the first place as part of an effort by the bank to comply with tightening U.S. sanctions on Iran. However, these sanctions have been loosened in recent months in accordance with the interim nuclear deal, which will provide Tehran with billions in cash relief.

NIAC, which has long lobbied to relax U.S. sanctions on Iran, said in a statement on its website that it had worked with the Bank of Hawaii and the Treasury Department to ensure that the accounts were unfrozen.

“Bank of Hawaii, in consultation with its technology providers, regulators, and advocacy groups such as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has developed a solution to allow it to once again make accounts available to Iranian residents” in the United States, the bank said in a statement posted to NIAC’s website.

A Treasury Department official told the Washington Free Beacon that it “is aware of the Bank of Hawaii’s recent action” and that “Treasury does not prohibit U.S. financial institutions from doing business with Iranian-Americans.”

Bank of Hawaii said that it initially froze the accounts of Iranian nationals residing in the United States “to ensure compliance with U.S. sanctions regarding Iran, in particular those prohibiting access to U.S. bank accounts by persons in Iran,” according to the statement.

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