News Articles

Officials: US considers easing ban on dollars to help Iran

The Obama administration is considering easing financial restrictions that prohibit U.S. dollars from being used in transactions with Iran, U.S. officials said. Angry lawmakers countered that Tehran would be getting more than it deserves from last year's nuclear accord.
 
While no final decision has been made, officials told The Associated Press the Treasury Department has prepared a general license permitting offshore financial institutions to access dollars for foreign currency trades in support of legitimate business with Iran, a practice that is currently illegal.
 

 
In a separate letter, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk cited testimony last year by Treasury Department's sanctions chief, Adam Szubin, who told lawmakers Iran wouldn't be allowed "even to execute a dollarized transaction where a split second's worth of business is done in a New York clearing bank."
 
U.S. officials said the change wouldn't break that pledge because Iran still wouldn't have access to the American financial system. If an Indian bank exchanges the money with a Hong Kong clearinghouse and the money is eventually converted to non-U.S. currency, no Iranian institution ends up touching any dollars. And no Iranian rials would be entering the United States.
 

 
Keep reading here.