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Iran strongly rejects Bahrain’s money laundering accusations against its central bank

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows the Central Bank of Iran's building in the capital city of Tehran.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has strongly rejected recent charges against the country’s central bank and a number of other banks by the government of Bahrain, noting that such measures are purely based on political motivations.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Saeed Khatibzadeh, the ministry’s spokesman, said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly rejects accusations leveled against the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks in Bahrain.”

“Bringing up such cases and leveling baseless accusations and allegations against the Central Bank of Iran, Saderat and Melli banks, and their managers are solely based on political motivations and lack any legal value,” Khatibzadeh added.

He said, “The judicial procedure taken by the Bahraini courts against the Central Bank [of Iran] and the Iranian individuals and banks is so flawed that we have no official and reliable source, apart from some media sources, to know about the details of these cases. Therefore, any opinion announced in this regard is based on the media news stories.”

“In all these cases, the Bahraini court is apparently only carrying out the orders and decisions of Bahrain’s political and security organs. On the other hand, these cases are devoid of judicial standards related to due process and the Iranian sides have been deprived of their primary rights while the judicial process has been non-transparent and flawed,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Khatibzadeh said Iran reserves the right to use all national and international means available to it to counter such measures by Bahrain and will not back down in defense of the interests and rights of its citizens.

According to media reports, Bahrain's High Criminal Court has accused the Central Bank of Iran, along with a number of other Iranian banks and their officials, of being involved in "money laundering" activities.

The Bahraini public prosecutor has sentenced the defendants to various terms of imprisonment as well as financial punishment.

Bahrain’s public prosecutor and state-owned news service claimed that the prosecution was “the largest money laundering case in the history of the kingdom.”

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