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Turkish officials could be named for busting sanctions

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Significance

In 2019, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) charged Halkbank with having operated a scheme to evade US sanctions in 2012-13 by using the receipts of Iranian oil sales to buy gold and ship it to Iran. Halkbank claims that as a state-owned entity it cannot be prosecuted.

Impacts

  • A Supreme Court ruling against Halkbank would undermine domestic support for Erdogan and boost opposition parties in Turkey.
  • US-Turkey relations would likely come under pressure if Halkbank were found guilty of sanctions evasion.
  • A ruling in favour of Halkbank could undermine US sanctions against Iran by encouraging countries to deal with Tehran via state banks.

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