U.S. Cheers German Bid to Thwart Terror Funding as Win Over Iran

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. trumpeted rule changes by Germany’s Bundesbank to thwart terror financing as a victory in its bid to isolate Iran despite resistance from European allies.

Adjustments to the Bundesbank’s operating procedures gives Germany’s central bank more leeway to review transactions to prevent money laundering and weapons purchases. While the rules, which take effect on Aug. 25, don’t mention any country specifically, the U.S. Embassy in Germany said it will help put a financial squeeze on Iran.

“The recent decision of the German Bundesbank to tighten its rules will thwart Iran’s troubling effort to move planeloads of cash out of Germany,” the U.S. Embassy to Germany said in an emailed statement on Monday, coinciding with a rebuff by the European Union. “We are grateful to our German partners.”

President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran after taking the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear accord. On Monday, Germany joined France, the U.K. and the European Union’s foreign affairs representative Federica Mogherini in pushing back against the decision. The bloc will implement rules on Tuesday aimed at shielding European companies from the move.

The Bundesbank and Germany’s Finance Ministry declined to comment on the embassy’s statement.

“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran,” Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the U.K. said in a joint statement. The remaining parties of the Iran nuclear accord will work for “the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran.”

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