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Iran and Russia: Money Apart?02.03.2012 | 19:30
Financial relations between the Iranian embassy in Russia and the bank VTB 24 gave a crack. According to Iranian Ambassador Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi, the bank's employees for no apparent reason stated that VTB 24 couldn't longer serve the accounts of the employees of the Iranian Embassy. The bank has assured - Sajjadi's fears were excessive and there was no political motive in this situation. GTimes correspondent tried to find out if there is a reason for Iran to worry about their money in Russia.
Yesterday, the Iranian ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi wrote in his blog: "At 3 p.m., an embassy employee, responsible for working with banks, went to VTB 24, with which the embassy works. He was told: "The embassy staff must lift from the accounts of all the money till 6 p.m. of the day, otherwise their account will be freezed and the money confiscated". The embassy employee explained the bank staff that it was virtually impossible to fulfill that demand. In the bank, Sajjadi has learned that "my credit card would be freezed! This means that the bank even failed to fulfill its own obligations", the ambassador wrote in his LJ.
Press Service of the VTB 24 quickly responded and made an official statement related to the closure of the Iranian accounts. According to the Bank, this information is incorrect. The head of the VTB 24 Mikhail Zadornov told reporters that there was no political motive for what had happened, and cards of all embassy staff are valid.
However, the Iranian side argues that the words of the representatives of the VTB 24 were not true. In response, the IRI embassy in Russia stated that the bank has blocked the accounts of some embassy staff. "March 1, 2012, the Bank VTB 24 suddenly announced its decision to close the accounts of diplomats and other employees of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in this regard, account holders were to close their accounts within the day.
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Moscow, while reserving the right to continue monitoring the situation, considers these actions illegal and being undertaken overseas by the United States in such a large country as Russia. Of course, the existing friendly relations between the governments and peoples of Iran and Russia are so long and solid that they cannot be harmed by these actions".
The bank VTB 24 is part of an international empire the VTB Group. The Russian-American Financial Group (RAFG) from the U.S., the German corporation Euroleasing, Bank of Ost-West Vermögensanlagen - that is incomplete list of foreign companies.
Certain structures may well let them know that the international financial community does not like the fact that an international bank carries out financial operations for the Iranian Embassy in Russia.
It is possible that this factor has forced international organizations to put pressure on Russia through its own banks. Editor in chief of the economic portal Bigness.ru Daria Deryabina told GTimes about this.
"It is clear that the UN Security Council is slowly but surely turning into a tool to justify the overthrow regimes annoying the West. It should be noted that Russia, considered by the world community an accomplice of Iran, is against the bloodshed and any intervention, in contrast to the United States. We do not follow a policy of double standards. Indeed, Moscow will support Tehran till the end, since the interference in Iranian affairs is fraught with danger to our national security. However, we see that Russia is ready for any adequate measures to stop this barbaric invasion. Blocking Iranian embassy accounts - real or imaginary - is confirmation of this. And if we talk about the politics of double standards, do not forget about the bank Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank, registered in Germany, which has supported economic sanctions against Iran. Notably, the EIN was the only bank not mentioned in the relevant UN resolutions, which means it does not fall under any sanction. Funny, is not it?"