By Mahvash Alerassool
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Extra info for Freezing Assets: The USA and the Most Effective Economic Sanction
He chose the causes that were to be funded by the Foundation himself and the beneficiaries were largely his family and current and potential friends in Iran and abroad, especially in the United States. The Pahlavi Foundation had enormous assets and was involved in all aspects of the Iranian economy; banking, insurance, property development, manufacturing industries and publishing. 58 Every financial deal that the Shah made whether it involved bank loans or acquisition, the country or his own Pahlavi Foundation, was handled for him by David Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank.
By extending US jurisdiction over the branches of US banks in Europe, the area of the controversy was transferred to US banks and the European legal system and its banking laws. This chapter analyses the legal questions that were raised as a result of freezing Iranian offshore assets and their implications. On 14 November 1979, the day of the freeze, the Iranian central bank (BMI) and various Iranian banks and other entities had over $5 billion held in different call and time deposit accounts with overseas branches of US banks.
That is, each and anyone of these entities was responsible for the total obligations of all the others. This argument followed the so-called 'Mullahs' theory' which was devised by the US banks' lawyers. According to this it was argued that as a result of the Iranian revolution all Iranian assets and entities were ruled by a 'Big Mullah' and therefore there was no distinction between the different entities and their assets. Consequently, assets of one entity could be taken for the liabilities of another.