For years, the United States struggled to get foreign bankers to comply with its effort to throttle Iran’s economy – but a couple of billion dollars in fines, not to mention lurid headlines and talk of jail time, has suddenly got their attention.
A half-hearted shuffling forward to settle years-old claims of busting U.S. sanctions on Tehran is becoming a stampede since Washington tightened rules to punish Iran’s nuclear programme and a new aggression among regulators so alarmed many banks that shareholders will be paying out billions more for years to come.
“The acceleration in a sense is coming from (the banks’) side defensively,” said Michael Malloy, a professor at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in California.
“The notion being that it would be better to get out in front of this and confront the difficulty and come clean rather than wait for the authorities to ferret you out,” said Malloy, who previously worked for the U.S. Treasury.
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