Baku, Azerbaijan, May 17
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
As Iranian officials blame the US for the fact that leading European banks are still uncertain in doing business with Iran, Mehrdad Emadi, consultant at the UK-based Betamatrix International Consultancy, believes that resumption of those banks' cooperation with Tehran needs months.
"Based on actual observations pertaining to the enquiries made by the leading European banks, as well as their efforts on undertaking country-specific risk assessment, I think we will see a gradual return of these banks toward the resumption of business dealings with Iran in the next 15 to 18 months," Emadi told Trend May 17.
"This is if a new Administration in Washington does not embark on an aggressively hostile foreign policy toward Iran, which may increase the risk of doing business with Iran, though I believe the resumption of business with Iran by the EU banks will happen even then, be it more slowly," the expert said, adding the US will find it very hard to recruit many allies in Europe should Iran abide by its agreement in the nuclear deal, which came into force last January.
He further said the United States, in fact, will be the main loser should it decide to pursue such a path, especially given the position of Iran as one of the key players in bringing about stability in the region and further afar.
At the same time, Emadi said Iran has done less than it could have to highlight the significance of using investment and trade opportunities in Iran as a unique banking and manufacturing hub with capabilities of serving Southern Europe and Central Asia.
"To this effect, there seems to be a relative lack of appreciation in Tehran of what are the needed resources to build a European business network based in two or three key cities in Europe, designed to achieve Iran's objective through economic channels, which most effectively nullify the existing and future Iranophobic efforts," he said.
Iranian officials accuse Israel and Saudi Arabia of using Iranophobia as an instrument to sabotage implementation of the nuclear deal, something that is true according to Emadi.
Emadi believes that the Saudi leadership and the government of Israel have verifiably evaluated their efforts since the last year to prevent a comprehensive return of Iran to the global economy.
However, the expert forecasts that in a period of 15-24 months Iran will return as a full partner in the economy of the region, as well as in the world economy in energy, automobile manufacturing, biotechnology and tourism.
"I stay with my previous evaluations that should Iran follow a path of competition- enhancing economic policy with a transparent banking system and a simplified and apolitical regulatory framework, we should see a doubling of its GDP within 10 years," said Emadi.
Should this forecast be close to the actual outcome, the importance of resuming trade and investment with Iran can be appreciated by the EU businesses, he added.
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