Roundup: Iran seeks major int'l banks cooperation amid U.S. pressures

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-12 01:18:18|Editor: yan
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TEHRAN, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Major global banks are reluctant to build financial links with Iran due to the U.S. government's intimidating policies and obstructionism, a member of Iran's Money and Credit Council said on Saturday.

Conditions are not still set for Iranian banks to make connection with the world's top banks, Bahman Abdollahi, member of the highest policy-making body in the Central Bank of Iran was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

The expectations pertaining to the improvement of Iran's economic and banking relations with the world "in the post-JCPOA era have not come true," Abdollahi said, blaming the United States for its pressures against Iran.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an international deal reached in July 2015 and implemented in January 2016, which put Iran in the path of relief from western economic and financial sanctions in exchange for more limitations on the nuclear program of the Islamic republic.

U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this month that the United States could not formally certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear accord. Washington has also demanded inspections of Iran's military sites, which Tehran has rejected.

He has called the Iran nuclear deal, reached during former President Barack Obama administration, "an embarrassment" for the United States and has called for renegotiations over some parts of it.

Abdollahi stressed that the deal has not led to any major breakthroughs in Iran's financial transactions with foreign banks and companies.

On Saturday, Financial Tribune daily reported that Iran and Italy have taken major steps to resolve the remaining banking issues between the two countries within the next two months.

"Unfortunately, two years after the removal of Iran's nuclear-related sanctions, the volume of trade with Italy has not bounced back to its pre-sanctions level," the head of Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce, Ahmad Pour-Fallah, was quoted as saying.

"Banking obstacles and lack of insurance coverage have been the main reasons behind it," Pour-Fallah was quoted as saying.

According to the report, the volume of Tehran-Rome trade was about 7 billion euros (8.16 billion U.S. dollars) in 2010, making Italy the largest trading partner of Iran among European nations.

However, the enforcement of international sanctions on Iran made it hard for Italy to maintain the high level of economic transactions and bilateral trade fell to 1.6 billion euros in 2014.

Pour-Fallah expressed the hope that after banking issues between the two countries are resolved, bilateral trade would exceed 7 billion euros.

Pour-Fallah made the remarks as he is leading an Iranian delegation to attend the joint Business Forum on Banking, Insurance and Legal Issues in Rome. The delegation consisted of 25 representatives from industrial, mining, banking and insurance sectors.

"We have come here to negotiate with Italian bankers and insurance official to solve the problems as soon as possible and this is also an opportunity for Italian businesses to expand their economic relations with Iran," he said.

Moreover, Iran urged European Union on Tuesday for more efforts to facilitate banking ties between EU countries and Iran.

Deputy Foreign Minister for American and European Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi said Tuesday that the European countries have not made enough efforts to persuade their banks to work with Iran.

He called for more steps on the issue in the face of U.S. fresh pressures, stressing the consequences for the possible U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, the report added that a number of Iranian banks have declared their interest in opening branches in Belgium.

The announcement was made by Gholamhossein Shafei, the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, during a meeting with a visiting Belgian delegation.

"The most important requirements for both countries' businesses are banking and insurance ties that have registered slight improvements after Iran's nuclear deal in July 2015, and those are not enough," Shafei said.

After over two years of Iran's deal with the world powers, the Islamic republic said it has not been able to enjoy the fruits of the accord due to the U.S. continuous "hostile" acts frightening the international investors and financial institutions.