The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has banned the country’s banks from offering services to crypto firms or dealing in cryptocurrencies, given money laundering concerns.
The CBI’s supreme committee, also in charge of curbing money laundering and fighting capital flight in Iran, has issued a circular prohibiting banks and financial institutions from transactions that enable buying, selling or promoting cryptocurrencies, as reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
In its circular, the CBI further claimed cryptocurrencies ‘have the option to be used for money laundering, supporting terrorism and exchange of sums between wrongdoers’, state-owned IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, revealed.
An excerpt from the circular, as reported by Reuters, read:
Banks and credit institutions and currency exchanges should avoid any sale or purchase of these currencies or taking any action to promote them.
The cryptocurrency curbs come during wider reforms this month wherein Iran formally unified its official and open market exchange rates in an attempt to halt plummeting Iranian rial, the country’s fiat currency. The central bank has also limited the permissible amount of foreign currency – in cash- to be held by an Iranian citizen to €10,000 ($12,250).
On May 12, US president Donald Trump sees a deadline to either sign a presidential waiver on Iranian sanctions or formally withdraw the United States from the Obama-era nuclear accord.