Bahrain loses case against Iranian banks

Bahrain was ordered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to pay more than 200 million euros in damages plus costs to two Iranian banks for illegal moves against their operations in Manama in an act of “political retaliation An official told the vice presidency for legal affairs in Tehran.
“The PCA ruled in favor of Iran against the government of Bahrain, claiming that the seizure of Iranian banks’ shares in Future Bank was against international law and bilateral agreements between the two countries,” Tavakol Habibzadeh said. by IRNA.
Also known as Al-Mustaqbal Bank, the Manama-based bank was established in 2004 with the authorization of the government of Manama as a joint venture between Bank Saderat Iran and Bank Melli Iran and Bank Al-Ahli of the small Arab state.
Bahrain’s central bank put Future Bank under its administration in 2015, accusing it of being involved in sanctions circumvention operations.
Banque Melli and Banque Saderat initiated arbitration proceedings against the kingdom on February 10, 2017, for confiscation of funds in violation of the Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments signed by the two governments in October 2002.
Former Iranian central bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati also confirmed the report on Wednesday, hailing it as a legal victory for the country. Hemmati was the CEO of Bank Melli in 2017 when the case was filed.
At the time, Bahrain submitted hundreds of pages to the court in The Hague in an unsuccessful attempt to paint a false picture of a financial institution operating “for the purpose of covering up.”
Both lenders have denied any inappropriate money transfers, saying Future Bank quickly responded to the host country’s concerns “without further complaint from Bahrain,” according to a statement released by the two institutions, Press TV reported.
Earlier this year, Bahrain’s highest court upheld a money laundering verdict against Future Bank, the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks. The decision called for jail terms of up to 10 years for Future Bank officials and forfeiture of funds.
Bahrain’s news agency claimed that officials of Future Bank, in cooperation with other officials of Iranian banks and the CBI, had undertaken “the transfer and receipt of over $ 1.3 billion via an alternative system ”as part of an alleged large-scale money laundering program.
In the statement posted on the CBI website, the regulator called the decision “baseless” and said it “reserves the right to take legal countermeasures”.
The CBI said the decision was a “political statement”, arguing that Future Bank had come under the control of the Central Bank of Bahrain following a diplomatic split between Iran and Saudi Arabia in 2015.
The money laundering charges were brought against the bank five years after the government in Manama seized the bank and ousted its Iranian leaders, ”the CBI recalled.
The Netherlands Permanent Court of Arbitration is an intergovernmental organization of 116 member states established in 1899 to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute settlement between states.

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