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As Hollande-Defended BNP Settles, Guilty Sudan Knowledge Shown

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 30 -- On Iran earlier this month French foreign minister Fabius has said that Iran wants hundreds of thousands of centrifuges and that France is drawing the line there, copying itself from 2013.

   But how strange: Francois Hollande and Fabius defended BNP Paribas' violation of not only Sudan but also Iran sanctions, while loudly playing hardball. Playing is the operative word. 

  On June 30 as BNP settled for $8.8 billion but no jail time, the "Statement of Facts" released shows BNP's guilty knowledge:

a “senior BNPP Paris compliance officer reminded other high-level BNPP compliance and legal employees that certain Sudanese banks with which BNPP dealt 'play a pivotal part in the support of the Sudanese government... A BNPP Paris executive with responsibilities for compliance across all BNPP branches warned in a memorandum that: 'In a context where the International Community puts pressure to bring an end to the dramatic situation in Darfur, no one would understand why BNP Paribas persists [in Sudan] which could be interpreted as supporting the leaders in place."

   So given Hollande's and Fabius' defenses of BNP, how should their pontification, on Sudan and other UN files, be interpreted?

   With the July 20 deadline to conclude the Iran nuclear talks looking more uncertain, how to compare France's hard-line position on Iran and sanctions violations now that Francois Hollande and Laurent Fabuis are actively defending sanctions violations, not only to Sudan but also Iran, by BNP Paribas? A new dynamic? Watch this site.


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