Halkbank’s Supreme Court Appeal Will Delay Iran Sanctions-Evasion Case

January 19, 2022


Aykan Erdemir

Author's Title: 

Turkey Program Senior Director


Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Related Country: 

  • Turkey

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that Halkbank, a public lender majority-owned by Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court without having to defend itself in a Manhattan federal court for the bank’s alleged role in helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions. This decision is a win for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his ongoing attempts to delay a potentially embarrassing jury trial, which could expose further details of his complicity in Tehran’s sanctions-evasion schemes.

Since October 2019, Halkbank has taken numerous actions to scuttle the case that the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York has brought against the lender in a six-count indictment. The prosecutors charged Halkbank with fraud, money laundering, and sanctions offenses, accusing the bank of helping Tehran transfer $20 billion worth of restricted funds, with at least $1 billion laundered through the U.S. financial system.


Read the rest of the policy brief at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.