Ending nuclear deal unlikely to damage Iran-Russia banking ties

Business Materials 15 April 2018 12:54 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, April 15

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad - Trend:

A senior official at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture believes that ties between Iranian and Russian banks would face no hurdles if the US breaches the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Considering the fact that both, Iran and Russia, have been sanctioned, they apply a special method for money transactions which will not be impacted by the possible failure of the nuclear deal,” Kaveh Zargaran, the head of agriculture and water commission at the Tehran trade chamber told Trend.

Pointing out that Bank Melli Iran is a shareholder of Mir Business Bank, a Russian bank which is serving Iranian businessmen, he said that the sides enjoy a huge potential for cooperation.

“Moreover, some of our banks have established proper ties with Russian banks which enables the sides to enjoy the possibility of opening LCs,” he added.

Zargaran further expressed hopes that Iran's trade relations with Russia will witness a good future due to the improvement of diplomatic ties over the recent years.

Forecasting that Iran’s possible membership in the Eurasian Customs Union would further the country’s trades with Russia, he added that Russia has also expressed interest in exporting cereal to the Islamic Republic.

Earlier on April 9, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani expressed hope that the country would finalize the talks on efforts to join the Eurasian Customs Union within a month.

The current volume of trade turnover between Iran and Russia stands at $2.2 billion.

Back in March French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Tehran as part of a European drive to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran that President Donald Trump is threatening to scuttle and the Islamic Republic has said it may be forced to abandon. On May 12, Donald Trump is expected to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions under a US law.

So far, Iran has adhered to the terms of the nuclear deal, as verified by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in 10 reports since the pact was implemented in January 2016.

But the economic benefits Iran is receiving in return have fallen short of expectations, even after energy and financial sanctions were lifted. Major banks and companies have avoided engaging with Iran from fear of running afoul of remaining US restrictions or seeing a “snapback” of sanctions given Trump’s threats.

US President Donald Trump has told the Europeans that they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” or he would re-impose the sanctions that Washington lifted as part of the pact.