Did UBS help the Mullahs’ nuclear ambitions?

The Swiss bank UBS has become the latest casualty of raging "Iran fever" (¿? Sounds a little bit ironic and despective, doesn't it?) on Capitol Hill after key congressmen stepped up allegations that it had helped finance the Mullahs' nuclear ambitions in breach of US sanctions, and that it had once banked for Osama Bin Laden. Dana Rohrabacher, the chairman of a congressional inquiry into off-shore banking and terrorism, is mulling further hearings to determine whether UBS endangered world security by helping Iran through the illegal transfer of $440m (£253m) in US bank-notes in the 1990s.

"Iran at that time was facing a credit crunch. If the US was trying to restrict Iran's flow of income, but UBS was working to supplement it through loans and credits, then it seems to me the bank was working directly against the interests of the country that acted as one of the most important sources of business," he said in congressional hearings.

"Worse, UBS transferred US banknotes to Iran in violation of the very programme they were entrusted to run," he said.

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Filed under Business and terrorism, Iran, Switzerland, USA

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