Documents reveal Iran’s financial infrastructure for evading sanctions.

Bulsha:- According to intelligence officials and documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Iran has built a clandestine banking and finance infrastructure that allows it to handle billions of dollars while avoiding US sanctions.

To move money and defy sanctions, the Islamic Republic employs a system of overseas commercial banks, proxy corporations, cooperative firms, and a transaction clearing house within the country.

According to documents obtained by the WSJ and officials interviewed, Iran’s shadow banking system operates as follows: Affiliate corporations – “Rahbar” companies — in Iran manage sanctioned commerce on behalf of Iranian banks that assist enterprises restricted from exporting or importing due to US sanctions. These corporations set up businesses outside of Iran to act as proxy for Iranian traders.

The proxies then deal in dollars, euros, or other foreign currencies with foreign purchasers of Iranian oil and other commodities, or vendors of items for import into Iran, using accounts established up in foreign banks.

Officials told the WSJ that some of the revenue is smuggled into Iran by couriers carrying cash withdrawn from proxy firm accounts abroad, but much of it remains in foreign bank accounts. According to the Iranian central bank, it is used by Iranian importers and exporters to trade foreign money among themselves on ledgers kept in Iran.

These approaches are used to make it easier to sell Iranian oil and other goods, as well as to buy and import goods needed within Iran.

The mechanism ensures that Iran receives the revenues and imports it requires to keep its economy and country afloat. According to diplomats and officials, it relieves pressure on the Iranian rial by allowing the economy access to the dollars, euros, and other reserve currencies used in global trade.

“This is an extraordinary state money-laundering effort,” a Western diplomat told the Wall Street Journal.

Covert import and export operations amount to $80 billion each year, according to Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghaddam, a top Iranian political figure.

“The vast majority of our petroleum, steel, and petrochemical exports are concealed subsidiary enterprises,” he explained.

The International Monetary Fund predicts that by 2022, the sum will have risen to $150 billion, including overseas sales that are prohibited under the sanctions, which is more than double what it was during the brief period when Iran was sanction-free.

Iran appears to have gotten through sanctions in this fashion, even increasing its trade to pre-sanctions levels.

While the value of the rial has dropped as a result of the sanctions, the Iranian economy has held up well enough to allow Iran to hold serious talks with the United States about the future of its nuclear program.

Iran’s UN mission did not respond to a request for comment on the financial system from the Wall Street Journal.

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