Treasury Targets Iranian Bank for Providing Financial Services to Designated Entities Connected to Iran's Proliferation Activities

February 17, 2011

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile
  • Military

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Treasury today designated Bank Refah for providing financial services to the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA). In recent years, Bank Refah has facilitated millions of dollars of weapons-related purchases by MODAFL. These purchases included missiles and tanks and enabled Iran's leadership to maintain its fighter jets and submarines. Bank Refah also facilitated payments from HESA to businesses and individuals linked to Iran's weapons-related procurement.

"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."

Today's action was taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which is aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters, thereby isolating them from the U.S. financial and commercial systems.

MODAFL is the arm of the Iranian military that oversees Iran's ballistic missile program, and was designated by the Department of State pursuant to E.O. 13382 in October 2007. Treasury designated HESA pursuant to E.O. 13382 in September 2008 for being owned or controlled by MODAFL and for providing support to the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In August 2010, Treasury issued the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations to implement the financial provisions of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010. Under these regulations, Treasury may prohibit, or impose strict conditions on, foreign financial institutions' access to the U.S. financial system for facilitating significant transactions or providing significant financial services for a financial institution designated by the U.S. - such as Bank Refah - in connection with Iran's WMD proliferation or support for international terrorism. Bank Refah is the 20th financial institution designated by the United States for such activities.

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.

Identifying Information

Entity: Bank Refah Kargaran

AKA: Bank Refah
AKA: Workers' Welfare Bank
Location: No. 40 North Shiraz Street, Mollasadra Ave, Vanak Sq, Tehran 19917, Iran