According to the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations through a statement released yesterday, the Obama State and Treasury Department issued a special license for the conversion of Rials into Euros through ‘any United States depository institution’ after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed between Iran and JCPOA members made up of the UN Security Council countries plus the European Union. According to the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, State and Treasury department also unsuccessfully pressured two US banks to partake in the transaction, and misled lawmakers about their activities.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the subcommittee chairman, commented “The Obama administration during the negotiation of the Iran deal misled the American people…I think they did so because they were desperate to get a deal.” Without a compliant American bank, a senior State Department official said he believed Bank Muscat and Iran eventually used European banks to convert the funds held at the Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman.
According to Fox News, a former administration official disputes the subcommittee’s conclusion. “This specific license cannot be described as ‘granting access to the U.S. financial system,’” the former official said. “This specific license was in fulfillment of JCPOA commitments to give Iran access to pools of its money held overseas. It was aimed solely to allow the movement of Iran’s own funds stranded at an Omani bank into euros at a European bank, where Iran could then make use of them.”