FRANKFURT Feb 21 The European Central Bank on
Thursday defended its payments system after a newspaper reported
that the U.S. Congress is preparing new Iran sanctions to target
the ECB's system for settling cross-border payments.
The proposed bill is aimed at pressing the ECB to do more to
prevent Iranian companies and banks from using the Target2
payments system to conduct transactions involving euros, the
Financial Times reported.
The ECB said it complied with European Union sanctions
"The ECB ensures that no illegitimate transactions are
cleared in Target2," a spokesman for the euro zone's central
bank said. "But any sanctions are EU sanctions and not an ECB
The United States and the European Union have imposed
sanctions on Iran that aim to slow funding to Tehran's nuclear
program. The West says the program is developing nuclear
weapons, a charge Tehran denies.