A Bank Sepah branch in Tehran. The U.S. agreed to lift United Nations sanctions on Bank Sepah and its London affiliate on the same day in January that Iran released four Americans from prison. PHOTO: SIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG NEWS
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Signed Secret Document to Lift U.N. Sanctions on Iranian Banks
Administration backed measures on the same day Tehran released four American citizens from prison.
WASHINGTON—The Obama administration agreed to back the lifting of United Nations sanctions on two Iranian state banks blacklisted for financing Iran’s ballistic-missile program on the same day in January that Tehran released four American citizens from prison, according to U.S. officials and congressional staff briefed on the deliberations.
The U.N. sanctions on the two banks weren’t initially to be lifted until 2023, under a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that went into effect on Jan. 16.
The U.N. Security Council’s delisting of the two banks, Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International, was part of a package of tightly scripted agreements—the others were a controversial prisoner swap and transfer of $1.7 billion in cash to Iran—that were finalized between the U.S. and Iran on Jan. 17, the day the Americans were freed.
The new details of the delisting have emerged after administration officials briefed lawmakers earlier this month on the U.S. decision.
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WNU Editor: I have said ot more than once in the past few months ... but with each passing day we are learning more about this Iranian nuclear secret deal.