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Obama secretly helped Iran access US banks despite his admin’s sanctions, report says

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
June 06, 2018

Former President Barack Obama and his administration granted a license to Iran that allowed it to access the U.S. banking system after the Iran nuclear deal was penned in 2015, despite the administration’s promise to prohibit such behavior, a new Senate subcommittee report revealed this week.

The license allowed Iran to convert its currency, rials, to euros.

The Washington Times obtained a copy of the subcommittee report, which explained how the Obama Administration and U.S. Treasury Department officials “discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.”

“On Feb. 24, 2016, the Treasury Department issued a specific license to Bank Muscat to authorize the conversion of Iran’s rials to euros through ‘any United States depository institution … Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” according to the draft report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Iran reportedly had $5.7 billion in assets – in rials – at Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman.

When Iran wanted that money, it asked the U.S. if it could use its financial system to convert it, even though sanctions prohibited it, the draft report says.

President Donald Trump announced in May that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and imposing the “highest level” economic sanctions against Iran.

Trump has long been critical of the Obama-era agreement, calling it an “embarrassment” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”