John Kerry is going around Europe, reassuring European banks to do business with Iran. He doesn’t have to do this. The nuclear deal does not oblige the United States to do this. But he is doing it anyway because the American government is following the spirit of the deal.
The same can not be said about the Iranian regime. Its holding or could even say kidnapped, two Iranian – Americans after the deal, on trumped up charges. One of them is an 80 years old man. Is that following the spirit of the deal? What about testing missiles which say Israel must be eliminated? Or Khamenei constantly referring to America as the enemy, while Obama sends messages of friendship to the people of Iran. Its very clear who is following the spirit of the deal and who is not.
And today, Adam Szubin, the acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, continued in line with Obama’s policy of following the spirit of the deal. He did this by clearing up ambiguities regarding foreign banks who want to do business with Iran, using the US dollar. At a hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he declared publicly:
“Every foreign bank in the world has U.S. dollars in their possession..our sanctions don’t extend to those dollar bills. And foreign actors aren’t under our jurisdiction if they choose to give them to any actor, including an Iranian actor.”
Some are saying its America’s fault that some banks are not doing business with Iran. No, its not. America has lived up to its part of the deal. It has removed all the nuclear sanctions. It is telling businesses to do legal business with Iran. It telling foreign banks they can use the U.S dollar to deal with Iran.
Maybe Iranian regime officials should ask: why would any major bank want to risk doing business with a regime, who insists on taking part in activities that could end up imposing new sanctions against it, such as missile testing?
And what probably worries foreign banks is that the regime is unlikely to stop taking such actions, because more than anything, by doing so the regime is undermining Rouhani. The IRGC and hardliners don’t like Rouhani. So they will keep testing and antagonizing the international community. And foreign banks don’t want to be in the middle of such a dangerous domestic tension, which could provoke new sanctions…meaning spending money on more lawyers, more red tape…why bother?