Iranian investment turned away by government – Wikileaks

Iran had wanted to invest billions of euros in Malta’s financial system but was stopped by a Finance Ministry official, according to a US Embassy cable released by Wikileaks yesterday.

Charge d’Affaires Jason Davis wrote that Alan Caruana, chief of staff at the Finance Ministry, had been “helpful in our successful attempt to persuade Malta to go beyond UN- and EU-approved sanctions in preventing Iran from establishing a presence in Malta’s financial sector”.

He said that, according to Mr Caruana, Iran had approached the Maltese ambassador to France to express interest in “investing several billion euros” in Malta.

At a meeting with US officials, Mr Caruana shared the text of an e-mail from Malta’s ambassador in Paris, which read in part:

“(The Iranian Ambassador to Paris) asked whether our Maltese banking system is autonomous or whether it is subject in any way to US or British control.

“I told him that we certainly adhered to EU rules but he answered that that would not be a problem because France, for instance, is currently discussing the way to get Iran to invest four billion euros. He said that he would be very interested to know more about the structures of our banking system as, eventually, if we are as sound as I made it seem and if we are not subject to US or British controls, Iran would seriously examine the possibility of investing money in Malta. I am… >>>

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