Western sanctions hamper development of Azerbaijan-Iran cooperation in banking sector
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 5
By Temkin Jafarov, Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
The sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the EU against Iran, made the development of cooperation between the country and Azerbaijan in the banking sector, including the area of creating a joint bank, problematic, Iran's National Development Fund deputy director general Hassem Hosseini told Trend on his visit to Azerbaijan and meetings with officials of the country on May 3.
Iran's National Development Fund has been operating for three years. At present, its assets hit about $ 60 billion.
The U.S. and EU imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports and the country's banking system. As a result, Iran has faced a number of problems in these fields. The U.S., other Western countries, and Israel suspect Iran of making nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful nuclear program.
"However, certain progress has been recently achieved during the negotiations between Iran and the Western countries," he added.
He expressed confidence that the progress achieved in the negotiations will have a positive impact on the settlement of existing problems that could affect the outcome of the negotiations between Azerbaijan and Iran in the field of cooperation in the banking sector.
An agreement was reached on limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a partial suspension of the U.S. and EU sanctions against Iran in Geneva in November 2013.
The agreement entered into force on January 20, 2014 and its duration is six months. It is assumed that "six" mediators (Russia, US, Great Britain, France, Germany, China) and Iran should develop a comprehensive agreement to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue during this period. If successful, all international sanctions against Iran will be canceled.
With the partial suspension of sanctions, Iran was able to access more than $4 billion that could not be transferred to the country due to the sanctions. Some Iranian banks were able to restore their activity in several European countries.
The fourth round of talks on Iran's nuclear program will be held in Vienna on May 13.
Currently, a branch of Bank Melli Iran is operating in Azerbaijan. In total, there are 44 banks in the country.
According to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran in the first quarter of 2014 amounted to $47.34 million or by 23 percent less than in the same period of last year.
Translated by NH
Edited by CN