Expert: US approach indeed goes some way to meet Iranian needs

Iran Materials 23 October 2013 08:00 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 22 / Trend, S. Isayev

The US approach indeed goes some way to meet Iranian needs, which is the ability to demonstrate a quid pro quo in concessions and ease sanctions, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey told Trend.

The expert was commenting on recent news on US officials having an idea to offer Iran access to at least some of its frozen money in exchange for verifiable concessions on nuclear program.

The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical researches instead.

According to Bloomberg, more than $50 billion of Iranian money is frozen, or semi-frozen, in banks around the world.

"The US can make it easier for Iran by easing unilaterally imposed sanctions or sanctions initiated in cooperation with the EU," Dorsey said, adding that unilaterally imposed sanctions can be re-imposed at any time.

He went on to say that Excluding Iran for example from the SWIFT system was a US-European not a UN move.

This is while recently Iranian Tasnim news agency reported that Central Bank of Iran has developed a domestically-designed network (SEPAM) that enables financial institutions to send and receive electronic messages about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment - all in order to replace SWIFT, which cut Iran off its system.

On the other hand, Fars News Agency quoted an informed source in the Iranian banking system as saying that SWIFT is likely to resume cooperation with Iranian banks as some of the international sanctions against the banks have been annulled.

James Dorsey believes that the biggest problem that both US President Barack Obama and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani are facing is pressure from the inside.

"Both the Obama administration and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have is dealing with hard liners in their own back yard," Dorsey said. "Think of efforts in the US Congress to toughen sanctions at the same time that the administration is negotiating a loosening."

He went on to say that US hardliners are being backed by Israel and Saudi Arabia, each concerned about a thaw in US-Iranian relations for their own reasons.