President Rafael Correa said Tuesday that his government won't deal with Iranian banks sanctioned by the United Nations, but he does want to establish relationships with all countries.
"We will respect all United Nations resolutions. If there is an Iranian bank sanctioned by the United Nations, we won't make transactions with that bank," Correa said in an interview with Radio Quito.
"Nobody can impede us from having sovereign relationships with countries that we want," Correa added referring to Iran as a country with a huge potential market and a great financing capacity.
In February, the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, a multilateral organization, placed Ecuador on a list of countries with shortcomings in their ability to prosecute money laundering and fight terrorist financing.
The FATF said Ecuador had failed to deliver a high-level political commitment to address these problems. Other countries on the FATF list include Iran, Ethiopia, Angola and North Korea.
Correa said the FATF had included Ecuador in the list because of its ties with Iran.
In December 2008, Ecuador's Central Bank, or BCE, and the Export Development Bank of Iran, or EDBI, signed a protocol of cooperation to expand bilateral cooperation.
According to the agreement, seen by Dow Jones Newswires, the EDBI offered credit facilities to Ecuador's BCE of $40 million to finance imports of Iranian goods and services to Ecuador under the insurance coverage of Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, EGFI.
On Tuesday, Correa said that Ecuador didn't receive any funding from Iran.
In May, Central Bank President Diego Borja met with officials from the U.S Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund and the Export-Import Bank of the United States to dispel concerns over Ecuador's financial relationship with Iran.
Borja also has said that any deposits from Iran were made at the Central Bank.
In the same radio interview, Correa said the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Ecuador next week is proof of the cordial relationship between Ecuador and United States.
Correa said that he and Clinton will discuss the FATF, regional security, migration policies and the U.S use of military bases in Colombia, among other topics.
Correa holds the chairmanship of the Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR.
-By Mercedes Alvaro, Dow Jones Newswires; 5939-9728-653; firstname.lastname@example.org