Beijing, China (4E) – China has protested the blacklisting of a Chinese bank by the U.S. and urged Washington on Wednesday to revoke the sanction slapped on the bank for allegedly providing financial services to Iranian banks.
A statement from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang also criticized the U.S. for imposing its domestic law on the Bank of Kunlun in violation of the principles of international relations and to the detriment of China’s interests.
Qin said China and Iran’s business cooperation in energy and trade does not violate “any resolution of the United Nations Security Council nor harms the interests of any third party.”
“The Chinese side urges the U.S. side to immediately correct the wrongdoings, withdraw the groundless sanctions on the Bank of Kunlun, and stop doing anything harmful to China’s interests as well as China-U.S. relations,” the state news agency Xinhua quoted the spokesman as saying.
The reaction came after the White House and U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday the Bank of Kunlun and Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq would be denied access to the U.S. financial system for transacting with Iranian banks that were blacklisted by Washington for their alleged involvement in developing nuclear weapons. The sanction is meant to stop Iran’s nuclear program suspected of developing weapons.
The sanction prohibits financial institutions from opening correspondent or payable-through accounts for Bank of Kunlun or Elaf Islamic Bank in the United States and any financial institutions that currently hold such accounts must close them within 10 days, according to a U.S. Treasury Department press release issued Tuesday.
The Department accused Kunlun of providing significant financial services” to more than six Iranian banks that were on the U.S. sanctions list for helping to foster Iran’s nuclear activities and international terrorism.
“In early 2012, Bank of Kunlun transferred hundreds of payments totaling roughly $100 million dollars from accounts it holds for designated Bank Tejarat. This activity happened after Bank Tejarat was designated by the United States (and the European Union) in January 2012 for providing financial services to several Iranian banks and firms already subject to sanctions for their involvement in Iran’s illicit proliferation activities,” the department said.
“In addition to these transfers, in early 2012 Bank of Kunlun made at least one payment for an affiliate of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps pursuant to a letter of credit opened by Bank Tejarat.”
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