Sanctioned for support to:
US: October 19, 2015
EU: Fall 2015 (suspend)
October 19, 2023 (terminate)
The US Treasury Department sanctioned Bank Melli in 2007 for its support to the Iranian nuclear program, but also for supporting its ballistic missile program and facilitating Qods Force and IRGC financial transactions.
Bank Melli is Iran's largest bank. Bank Melli provides banking services to entities involved in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, including entities listed by the U.N. for their involvement in those programs. This includes handling transactions in recent months for Bank Sepah, Defense Industries Organization, and Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group. Following the designation of Bank Sepah under UNSCR 1747, Bank Melli took precautions not to identify Sepah in transactions. Through its role as a financial conduit, Bank Melli has facilitated numerous purchases of sensitive materials for Iran's nuclear and missile programs. In doing so, Bank Melli has provided a range of financial services on behalf of Iran's nuclear and missile industries, including opening letters of credit and maintaining accounts.
Bank Melli also provides banking services to the IRGC and the Qods Force. Entities owned or controlled by the IRGC or the Qods Force use Bank Melli for a variety of financial services. From 2002 to 2006, Bank Melli was used to send at least $100 million to the Qods Force. When handling financial transactions on behalf of the IRGC, Bank Melli has employed deceptive banking practices to obscure its involvement from the international banking system. For example, Bank Melli has requested that its name be removed from financial transactions. (From Treasury Factsheet, 10/25/2007)