While most of the focus on the presidential campaign remains on the weight of a former Miss Universe and unsubstantiated claims of a Russian plot to get Donald Trump elected, a story with at least a tenuous grounding in reality emerged today.
That’s a headline story if I’ve ever seen one. But is it true? Not really.
The bank in question, Bank Melli, was sanctioned in 2007 by the US Treasury Department on claims that, as a bank that exists in Iran, it had something to do with financial transactions related to Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program.
Which it probably did, being Iran’s main bank, which has some 30% of the market there. So did Trump violate sanctions by doing business with an “outlawed” bank? Not at all.
The “story” such as it is, is that Bank Melli rented office space in a Trump-owned building in New York City between 1998 and 2003. The sanctions, as noted above, only happened in 2007, years after the bank moved out of the building.