Erdogan Allowed Turkish Banks to Help Iran Launder Money, Witness Says

NEW YORK—A U.S. government witness in the trial of a prominent Turkish banker said Thursday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved transactions aimed at helping Iran circumvent U.S. economic sanctions, testimony that could further strain U.S.-Turkish relations.

The witness, Reza Zarrab, said he was told by a top Turkish official around 2012 that Mr. Erdogan had instructed two of Turkey’s largest banks, Ziraat Bank and VakifBank, to begin helping Iran launder its money.

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