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U.S. government's Iran sanctions force financial institutions to know customers better

Oct 13 2011 Brett Wolf, Compliance Complete

The U.S. government is making every effort to tighten the financial noose around Tehran, and as a result, financial institutions must ensure they know their customers well, experts said on Wednesday after the Treasury blacklisted an Iranian airline accused of moving people and money for an elite Iranian military unit. "Basically, financial institutions must do a lot more due diligence," a former Treasury official who advised on sanctions issues said on condition of anonymity. "In recent customer contracts, that's one thing banks look for; they get representations by customers with extensive international business interests that they're not trying to do business with sanctions targets in Iran or elsewhere." The former official added that banks are looking closely at customers that do business in jurisdictions that neighbor Iran, especially the United Arab Emirates, "to determine whether their transactions might be headed toward Iran." "I'm sure U.S. financial institutions are very

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