Germany examining Iranian request to move $353m back to Tehran
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Germany examining Iranian request to move $353m back to Tehran

Finance Ministry official says transaction is being checked to ensure there is no possibility of money laundering or terror financing

A close up shot shows Iran's various Rial banknotes, bearing a portrait of Iran's late founder of Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, next to United States one-Dollar bills bearing a portrait of first US President, George Washington at a currency exchange office in a shopping center in the capital Tehran on April 10, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE)
A close up shot shows Iran's various Rial banknotes, bearing a portrait of Iran's late founder of Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, next to United States one-Dollar bills bearing a portrait of first US President, George Washington at a currency exchange office in a shopping center in the capital Tehran on April 10, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE)

BERLIN — Germany’s Finance Ministry said authorities are examining a request from Iran to repatriate hundreds of millions of euros in cash held in a Hamburg-based bank.

Bild newspaper reported Monday that the Iranian regime wants to bring home 300 million euros ($353 million) it has in the European-Iranian Trade Bank to have on hand when American financial sector sanctions come into effect.

Finance Ministry spokeswoman Jeanette Schwamberger confirmed the request had been made, and said it’s now being checked by financial regulators as are all large transactions involving countries where there might be possible “money laundering or terror financing.”

She said “should the checks turn up anything suspicious then the result would be the transaction cannot be completed.”

Schwamberger said she has no overall figure for Iranian holdings in Germany.

After the Trump administration in May pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Washington vowed to introduce severe sanctions against Iran. The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saw previous sanctions lifted from Iran in return for it curbing the weapons-capable aspects of its nuclear program.

Iran and the other parties to the agreement — the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia — have all said they will try to maintain the pact, however, US sanctions will likely influence trade and economic ties between Iran and other countries.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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