Economy, Business And Markets

US Treasury to Clarify Iran Banking Issues With Germans

US Treasury to Clarify Iran Banking Issues With Germans  US Treasury to Clarify Iran Banking Issues With Germans

A high profile delegation from the US Treasury Department is set to visit Germany next week, in order to reach a mutual understanding about sanctions against Iran, said Ali Majedi, Iran’s ambassador in Germany.

“The Germans are determined to resolve problems in their commercial relations with Iran, especially in banking and insurance relations,” Tasnim News Agency quoted him as saying on Friday.

Majedi, however, noted that there has been progress on the issue as “Bank Melli Iran and Germany's Eihbank are already conducting transactions.”

Elaborating on other aspects impeding commercial relations with Germany, Majedi said, “Some of the issues were created by us, such as disregarding stringent measures against money-laundering by the former administration.”

The current government is taking the issue more seriously, he said.

Washington still prevents US nationals, banks and insurers from trading with Iran and also prohibits any trade with Iran in US dollars from being processed via the US financial system. This is a significant complication given the dollar’s role as the world’s main business currency.

Many foreign banks are cautious about resuming trade with Iran following January's nuclear deal because they fear being caught up in ongoing US sanctions.

In 2014, the US imposed a record $8.9 billion fine on France’s BNP Paribas while German giant Deutsche Bank took a $258 million fine for doing business with Iran.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, had earlier called on the Obama administration to make a clear public pledge that it would not penalize European banks for legitimate trade with the Islamic Republic.

Raiffeisenbank International (RBI) of Austria, however, announced this month that it wants to fully re-launch operations in Iran over the coming months. The bank had been doing good business in the country before sanctions were imposed. Germany’s Commerzbank has also said it is reviewing its policy of not doing business in Iran.