Germany's Finance Ministry said authorities are examining a request from Iran to repatriate hundreds of millions of euros in cash held in a Hamburg-based bank.
Bild newspaper reported Monday that the Iranian government wants to bring home 300 million euros ($353 million) it has in the European-Iranian Trade Bank to have on hand because it is worried that it could run out of cash when fresh US sanctions against its financial sector take effect.
US President Donald Trump abandoned a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May and has announced new sanctions on Tehran. Washington has urged all countries to stop buying Iranian oil by November and foreign firms to stop doing business there or face US blacklists.
Finance Ministry spokeswoman Jeanette Schwamberger confirmed the request had been made, and said it's now being checked by financial regulators.
She said "should the checks turn up anything suspicious then the result would be the transaction cannot be completed."
Schwamberger said she has no overall figure for Iranian holdings in Germany.
Iran told the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) it needed the cash from the accounts “to pass on to Iranian citizens who require cash while traveling abroad, given their inability to access recognized credit cards,” Bild said.
BaFin is now reviewing the request, which had been briefed to senior officials in the Chancellery, Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry, the newspaper reported.
Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatory countries to the nuclear deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — offered a package of economic measures to Iran on Friday but Tehran said they did not go far enough.
AP and Reuters contributed to this story.