Turkey’s Halkbank says Iran business complies with law

Halkbank’s (IST:HALKB) dealings with sanctions-hit Iran are entirely lawful, the Turkish state-run lender said on Monday after its chief executive was arrested in a corruption probe denounced by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as a foreign plot. Halkbank’s Iranian business ties had drawn Western disapproval amid U.S.-led efforts to curb Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. Turkey has bought natural gas and oil from Iran through an indirect system whereby Iranian exporters received payment in Halkbank lira accounts and used that money to buy gold. The bulk of that gold was then been shipped from Turkey to Dubai, where Iran could import it or sell it for foreign currency.


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