Iran Moves Banking Facilities to Venezuela
By Douglas Farah
In a little-noticed move, Venezuela and Iran are joining forces not just in petroleum-relate ventures, but in banking ventures. The move toward joint banking is likely to boost Tehran's ability to circumvent U.S.-led sanctions against its financial structure that supports international terrorism and its nuclear program.
The formation of two banks in Venezuela comes on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid Iran has promised the governments in the region that support the Chavez government in Venezuela-Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia, principally.
In addition to helping Iran evade sanctions, the banks, which will be largely operating outside the normal transparency required of financial institutions, will allow Chavez several new avenues to spread money to insurgent groups on the continent, particularly his allies in the FARC in Colombia.
On March 20, the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a warning against using several Iranian banks, including the Banco Internacional de Desarrollo, SA (BID), a wholly-owned Iranian bank based in Caracas, Venezuela.
Treasury warned that through state-owned banks, the government of Iran, the government of Iran disguises its involvement in proliferation and terrorism activities through an array of deceptive practices specifically to evade detection. My full blog is here.
May 30, 2008 11:46 AM Link http://counterterrorismblog.org/