By Adam Kredo:
The Bank of Hawaii announced on Tuesday that it had reinstated access to accounts for Iranian nationals who had seen them frozen due to U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
The bank said that it unfroze these accounts following a pressure campaign by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a pro-Tehran advocacy group longsuspected of lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.
These Iranian accounts had been frozen in the first place as part of an effort by the bank to comply with tightening U.S. sanctions on Iran. However, these sanctions have been loosened in recent months in accordance with the interim nuclear deal, which will provide Tehran with billions in cash relief.
NIAC, which has long lobbied to relax U.S. sanctions on Iran, said in a statement on its website that it had worked with the Bank of Hawaii and the Treasury Department to ensure that the accounts were unfrozen.
“Bank of Hawaii, in consultation with its technology providers, regulators, and advocacy groups such as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has developed a solution to allow it to once again make accounts available to Iranian residents” in the United States, the bank said in a statement posted to NIAC’s website.
A Treasury Department official told the Washington Free Beacon that it “is aware of the Bank of Hawaii’s recent action” and that “Treasury does not prohibit U.S. financial institutions from doing business with Iranian-Americans.”
President Barack Obama’s grandmother Madelyn Dunham served as Bank of Hawaii’s vice president for 16 years until her retirement in 1986.
Read more at Free Beacon