Following its investigations of HSBC and Standard Chartered in recent weeks, U.S. prosecutors now say they have discovered evidence that Chinese banks may have played a role in transferring money to Iran. From The New York Times:
Information on how Chinese banks may have routed money on behalf of Iranian banks and corporations is more valuable than any monetary settlement the authorities could win from the global banks, law enforcement officials with knowledge of the cases said, because the United States could use the information to strengthen its efforts to choke off economic dealings with Iran.
The United States has been ratcheting up its sanctions as Iran’s nuclear ambitions raise the risk of military action from Israel and shocks to the global economy. The investigations of two London-based banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered, could prove especially fruitful, said the law enforcement officials, who declined to be identified because the cases are continuing.
As part of their broader investigations, prosecutors are examining whether any money transfers originated from Chinese banks and moved through the British banks before being routed through their American branches.