Turkey criticizes US arrests in Iran sanctions case

  • Turkey criticizes US arrests in Iran sanctions case

Turkey criticizes US arrests in Iran sanctions case

A senior executive at one of Turkey's most established state-owned banks was arrested in the United States on Monday in connection with a scheme to evade trade sanctions on nuclear Iran - ramping up political strains between the USA and Turkey.

According to the US criminal complaint, Atilla worked with Zarrab and others from 2010 to 2015 to hide Zarrab's ability to supply currency and gold to Iran through a Turkish bank, without subjecting the bank to USA sanctions.

"Our deputy general manager in charge of global banking, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, was taken into custody in the United States where he was for business purposes on March 28", the bank said, adding that it was working with the authorities. They rose 0.7 percent on Thursday.

Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman issued an order Tuesday asking lawyers to explain how the roles of Giuliani and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey might differ from those of other defense attorneys.

But Tanir said Atilla knew that U.S authorities viewed him as a potential suspect.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Rex aTillerson will discuss the arrest this week of a senior Turkish banking official in NY it was confirmed on Wednesday.

In an interview with state broadcaster TRT Haber, Cavusoglu said that the case would be discussed during Tillerson's visit and that Turkey was following the case closely, through both its embassy in Washington and consulate in NY. His dismissal came as part of a larger effort by the new administration to start with a clean slate as 46 USA state attorneys were asked to resign. "We will bring to the agenda our worries", Cavusoglu said. The two countries came to loggerheads over the United States' decision to arm Kurdish groups fighting the Islamic State. -Turkish relations. "But some people close to the Turkish president seem to be involved with Reza Zarrab".

Atilla "protected and hid Zarrab's ability to provide access to global financial networks", USA authorities said in documents filed in the US court.

Zarrab has close ties to the administration of Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who raised Zarrab's arrest with former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden a year ago and accused the U.S. of ulterior motives in bringing the case. Zarrab was arrested previous year at age 33 when he visited Miami and jailed, charged for conducting hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions through Turkey and the United Arab Emirates for the benefit of sanctioned Iranian entities and laundering the proceeds of illegal activity.

Turkey's economic minister, Nihat Zeybekci, criticized the way US arrested Atilla in an interview with Bloomberg.

The arrest could have major financial implications for Turkish state lender Halkbank. All were subsequently released.

The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that Atilla was accused of two crimes by the chief prosecutor when he appeared in front of the judge in NY yesterday: conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran and banking fraud.

After being arrested on Monday, Atilla was set to appear in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.