IMF to cooperate with Iran’s Central Bank chief despite US sanctions
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declared that it will continue cooperation with Governor of Iran’s Central Bank (CBI) Valiollah Seif despite the new US sanctions against the Iranian official.
“Iran is a member of the IMF, and as with all our members, the IMF will continue to work with Governor Seif and the Central Bank, consistent with the IMF’s Articles of Agreement,” the IMF’s Communications Department announced on Friday.
The announcement came in response to the CBI’s inquiry about the international financial body’s decision with regard to the US sanctions against Seif.
On May 15, the US Treasury Department named Seif and another senior banking official as “specially designated global terrorists” for allegedly assisting the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
The sanctions followed US President Donald Trump’s announcement on May 8 of Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Trump also vowed to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Tehran says US sanctions, especially the blacklisting of Iran’s Central Bank chief, aim to derail the ongoing diplomatic process to save the 2015 nuclear deal.
Following the sanctions against the CBI chief, Iran’s Ministry of Economy and Finance condemned the ban as an illegal measure aimed at waging psychological war against the Iranian banking system.
The ministry noted that such sanctions cannot harm the Iranian financial system and stressed Tehran’s position to continue cooperation with the IMF.
The US Treasury has sanctioned several Iranian and non-Iranian entities since the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.
On Thursday, the US imposed sanctions against nine Iranian and Turkish individuals and companies as well as a number of aircraft providing goods and services to four Iranian airlines.
Washington has also imposed sanctions against six Iranian individuals and three entities for allegedly operating a currency exchange network that transferred millions of US dollars to the Quds Force.
Many countries, including America’s European allies, have said that they would not back Trump’s new plan.
The UK, France and Germany — all signatories to the deal — are already in talks with Iran to protect their businesses from possible punishment by the US.
Russia and China have also expressed willingness to back the deal and even fill the void should any European companies leave Iranian markets.
Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement.