Will Trump achieve his goal to isolate Iran’s financial system?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 2
By Khalid Kazimov – Trend:
US President Donald Trump is apparently attempting to prevent the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international institutions from allocating loans to Iran, a move aimed at isolating the Islamic Republic from the international financial system.
Trump’s administration has ordered US executive directors at the IMF and other multilateral development banks to vote against extending loans and funds to Iran.
The move comes amid the White House’s attempts to undermine a nuclear deal Iran and world powers, including the US, reached in 2015.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier called on the European signatories of the nuclear deal to defy US sanctions if the Trump administration torpedoes the international nuclear agreement with Tehran.
While the Europeans appear reluctant to weaken the nuclear deal, the recent decision by Trump seems as a symbolic move to demonstrate his determination to keep Iran isolated.
Many believe the US has a considerable leverage over such institutions, in particular the IMF, but it is not enough to turn down Iran’s efforts to expand cooperation with the international financial community.
On the other hand, Iran has, so far, declined to show a serious interest in receiving loans from such organizations.
The Islamic Republic mostly prefers to gain financial support through direct loans from export credit agencies for specific projects.
Iran has already secured several deals to lure foreign investments and loans from the world since last January, when the nuclear deal was implemented.
In this period, Export-Import Bank of Korea has agreed to allocate eight billion euros in loan to Iran. Several Chinese banks have also concluded a $35 billion financial deal with Iran. Austria’s Oberbank was also the first European bank to sign an investment deal with Iran worth of one billion euros.
Followed by the repeated allegations against Tehran, Iran’s alleged failure to crack down on human trafficking is among the latest wild accusations flying around. The US government through a report in June termed Iran as a source, transit site and destination country for men, women and children subjected to human trafficking.
Tehran officially responded to the accusations, describing them as “baseless”.
Now the question is whether the IMF and other financial organizations will turn into a tool for the US to step up financial pressure on Iran or they will choose to become a symbol of independence.