The U.S. Treasury Department again is taking aim at Iranian banks funding the military, designating Iran's Bank Refah. The bank allegedly helps the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODALF) and the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) purchase missiles and tanks, as well as maintain Iran's other conventional weapon systems.
"MODAFL is the arm of the Iranian military that oversees Iran's ballistic missile program," a Treasury statement said.
"Treasury has now exposed and sanctioned 20 banks owned by the Government of Iran for supporting Iran's nuclear and missile programs or terrorism," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey. "The pervasiveness of this illicit conduct explains why legitimate financial institutions everywhere are deciding to shun Iranian banks."
The European Union imposed sanctions against Bank Refah in July 2010 for taking over Bank Melli's ongoing operations following the sanctions imposed on the latter bank by the European Union. The Wall Street Journal saluted those sanctions for finally giving teeth to the EU's efforts to counter Iran's nuclear program.