Economy, Business And Markets

Banks Blamed for Food, Medicine Sanctions

Banks Blamed for Food, Medicine SanctionsBanks Blamed for Food, Medicine Sanctions

Commercial banks are to blame for sanctions influencing import of food and medicine, according to IRNA, citing an official with Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA).

“Had the (former) government taken timely action, the two categories could have been excluded from sanctions,” said  Ali Movahed, deputy head of the task force for food industries of ICCIMA, attributing the shortage of food and medicine to mismanagement of the previous administration.

Iran has in recent years come under economic sanctions by the West over its nuclear energy program. Talks between Tehran and six world countries known as the P5+1 are underway to reach a long-term solution to the 12-year nuclear dispute.

“Coinciding with the intensification of sanctions (in 2012), we established an anti-sanction commission at the chamber to deal with the issue,” he explained.

The commission tried to make banks open credit lines for import of food and medicine, but banks refused to do so, as they had already established their own bureaus de exchange, which provided them with more benefit, he added. “Despite efforts, the chamber failed to persuade the banks to fulfill their duties.”

Nevertheless, food and medicine are not included in the sanction list. That means no bank in the world can reject Iran’s demand to open LCs for import of food and medicine. Also, insurance and transportation companies cannot refuse to offer services to Iran if Tehran wants to import such stuff.

“No banking network can deprive us our rights, as sanctions do not apply to drugs and food,” the official said.  “Even if negotiations with the P5+1 result, the deal will take years to affect Iranians’ life,” he noted.