Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Post Sanctions’ Lift, Banks Still Reluctant to Do Business with Iran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Iranian foreign minister on Tuesday urged the United States to do more as to encourage banks to do business with Iran following the lifting of sanctions.

The United States and Europe lifted sanctions on Tehran last January under a deal which also promised to curb Iran’s nuclear program. However some restrictions remain, including on financial transactions, slowing Iranian hopes to jump back into world markets.

“I believe the United States on paper has removed all the sanctions,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said, but Washington needs to do more to remove the “psychological remnants” of measures which had been in place for decades.

“On the banks, I believe it is important for everybody to realize that an agreement will be sustainable if everybody feels they are making gains from the agreement,” he told a news conference in Norway with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

“Its implementation must also be a win-win implementation so that everybody feels there are benefits, there are dividends,” Zarif said.

Mogherini said the European Union was involving businesses and banks, encouraging them to do business in Iran following the signing of the nuclear deal, but warned that progress would take time.

“In the first four months this year trade between the European Union and Iran increased by 22 percent,” she said. “We are very actively engaging with the business community and the banks in Europe and elsewhere to encourage engaging in Iran.”

Although challenges remain, developments were heading “in the right direction”, she said. “Europe is committed to ensure that the Iranian citizens can benefit from the lifting of the sanctions,” Mogherini said.