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Cablegate: Finance Minister Reviews Options for Sanctioning Future Bank

VZCZCXRO9020
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMK #1011 3101119
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061119Z NOV 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7384
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEATRS/TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 001011

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR T, ISN, EEB, NEA
TREASURY FOR U/S LEVEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/06/2017
TAGS: PARM PREL MNUC KNNP EFIN ECON IR BA
SUBJECT: FINANCE MINISTER REVIEWS OPTIONS FOR SANCTIONING FUTURE BANK REF: A. U/S LEVEY - AMB. ERELI OCTOBER 31 E-MAIL B. STATE 148605 Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli, reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1.(C) In a November 5 meeting with the Ambassador, Minister of Finance Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa said that he had raised concerns over Future Bank in a meeting with Iranian Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister for Economic Affairs Ali Radha Sheikh Attar and Central Bank of Iran Vice Governor for Foreign Exchange Affairs Dr. Mohammed Jaffar Mojarrad October 30.

2.(C) Sheikh Ahmed said he had outlined three options for dealing with Iran's stake in Future Bank: -- replace the board of directors, excluding Iranians from the new board; --reduce Iranian ownership to less than 50 percent; -- prohibit Future Bank from engaging in any Iran-related transactions. He said that placing Future Bank under the Central Bank of Bahrain's (CBB) supervision would be tantamount to shutting it down.

3.(C) The Ambassador emphasized that it was important for Bahrain to take robust, clear and decisive action to address U.S. concerns regarding Future Bank. Future Bank had only narrowly escaped being designated under recent U.S. sanctions. The GOB would need to demonstrate firm resolve in order to avoid the future possibility of such a designation and its associated consequences.

4.(SBU) Sheikh Ahmed said Bahrain understood the seriousness and urgency of the matter. The Ambassador will meet with CBB Governor Rashid Al Miraj in coming days. Post will continue to follow this issue and report subsequent developments. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ********
ERELI

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