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U.S. Lifts Sanctions On Iraqi Bank

The United States says it has allowed an Iraqi bank to again conduct business with the U.S. financial system “following the bank’s significant and demonstrated change in behavior," according to a statement from the Treasury Department.

The privately owned Elaf Islamic Bank was blacklisted by the United States in July 2012 for doing business with the Export Development Bank of Iran, which Washington accuses of being a "proliferator" of weapons of mass destruction.

In a statement on May 17, the Treasury Department said that after the sanctions were issued, the Elaf Islamic Bank "immediately" engaged with treasury officials and froze the accounts of the Export Development Bank of Iran.

Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said the Iraqi bank's de-listing demonstrates U.S. sanctions are “flexible.”

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and RFE/RL

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