Now American is trying to crack down on Iran using cryptocurrency to evade sanctions

Iranian authorities were looking to get past some of Donald Trump’s sanctions via crypto. But now American lawmakers have a riposte…

In a not particularly surprising move, the US government is looking to counter Iran’s attempts to circumvent American sanctions by using cryptocurrency. You can read the full story on what Iran has been up to below, but in a new development, Republican congressman Mike Gallagher has introduced the Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act, and is hoping to get it passed by Congress.

Gallagher wants a full report on what Iran has been doing and how it’s trying to use crypto. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Republican Senator Ted Cruz is looking to introduce sanctions for those who help Iran by providing “technological support, used in connection with the development of Iranian digital currency”.

Neither proposal has been enacted as of yet, but there’s clear intent from parts of the US legislature not to take what Iran is up to lying down…

Here’s our story from October 31st…

Earlier this year, American President Donald Trump announced that economic sanctions were being reinforced on Iran. These were originally lifted back in 2015 as a result of the Iran nuclear agreement, that was overseen by then-President Barack Obama, and his administration.

Trump, though, wanted them back.

As such, sanctions began to hit again in August of this year, with Trump declaring that he was “applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime”. The impact on Iran’s currency, the Rial, was sizeable, with its value crashing through the proverbial floor.

Iranian authorities thus started exploring alternatives. And the head of the country’s Civil Defense Organisation has given a new interview in which he’s admitted that cryptocurrencies are being seen as a way around.

Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali admitted – as reported by the Mehr news agency – that Iran faced problems with the SWIFT system that’s used to underpin most international money and security transfers. “Our major problem here is the US dollar, because the United States uses its national currency to control any country’s SWIFT operations, so we should reduce dependence on the dollar and replace it with another currency”, he said.

That’s thus what Iran is looking to do. And in the same interview, he explicitly said that “cryptocurrencies can help bypass certain sanctions through untraceable banking operations”. With that in mind, Jalali expressed the pressing need for a national cryptocurrency of Iran to help with this plan.

Whether crypto gets Iran past many of the sanctions that Trump re-imposed remains to be seen. However, it was notable that when the value of the Rial began to tumble, there were reports of many Iranian citizens moving their funds into crypto. Now, the government of the country may be considering a not-dissimilar move…

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