"In a move that could destabilize Beirut’s financial position, a US pressure group urged international financial firms on Tuesday to ditch Lebanese debt and securities, saying that Hezbollah is using Lebanon’s banks in a large scale money-laundering scheme that is also helping Iran evade banking sanctions.
New York-based United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) made public the results of a three-month, confidential investigation into the influence of Iran and Hezbollah on Lebanon’s banking system and its sovereign bond market. The group says Lebanon’s financial system – including Banque du Liban, the country’s central bank – is being used to funnel massive amounts of illicit cash from Hezbollah and its state sponsor, Iran.
Lebanon’s banks then use the laundered money to buy Lebanese sovereign debt, which has the effect of making the country appear far more financially stable than it actually is, UANI claims…Iran also transacts funds through the Lebanese banking system to evade the effects of international sanctions, including the banking embargo, Wallace added. He told Salame that Teheran was directing increasing support to Hezbollah to evade sanctions pressure by ensuring its proxy’s stability…Earlier this year, Salame told Wallace that the Lebanese Central Bank does not have any relationship with Iran’s Central Bank, Bank Markazi, and that there is only one Iranian bank, Bank Saderat Iran, in Lebanon. According to the US Treasury Department, which in 2007 designated Bank Saderat as a terror supporter, Iran uses the bank to transfer millions of dollars to several terror groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad." (The Jerusalem Post, "Beirut banks funneling illicit funds for Hezbollah," 7/4/12)
Noted as conducting business with Iranian banks. (Avi Jorisch, "Iran's dirty banking" , 2010)