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Swiss Team, CBI Examine Roadmap
Economy, Business And Markets

Swiss Team, CBI Examine Roadmap

The governor of the Central Bank of Iran has called on the government of Switzerland to help introduce Iran’s banking sector to Swiss business leaders and entrepreneurs to help build cooperation between the two countries in the post-sanctions era.
Pointing to the banking relations between the two sides in the past, including during the nuclear-related international sanctions, Valiollah Seif welcomed the resumption of bilateral ties to the pre-sanctions level.
During a meeting with a Swiss economic delegation at the CBI headquarters in Tehran, Seif asked Swiss authorities to remove Iran from the list of countries that allegedly finance terrorism.  
“In light of the anti-terrorism bill passed by the Majlis we ask Switzerland to take the necessary measures to remove Iran from the list of states (accused of) sponsoring terrorism and the high-risk countries,” the CBI website quoted him as saying late Saturday.
Iran’s Parliament passed a bill in February 2010 to counter terrorism financing, but due to some flaws, the Guardian Council –a vetting body which oversees the passage of laws -- sent the proposal to the judiciary to resolve some aspects it said were ambiguous. The amended bill is still pending final approval.
“We suggest regular meetings between the two countries’ banks to familiarize you with Iran’s progress in anti-money laundering measures and enhance banking ties,” Seif said.

  Anti-Money Laundering Agreements
 Iran’s anti-money laundering initiatives, consists of about 45 technical ordinances concerning banks, insurances, stock market, customs and notary publics. Iran has also signed six anti-money laundering agreements with other countries to share knowledge and experience in relevant fields.
Seif said Iranian banks have been trying to improve their operations in accordance with international standards, including Basel II and III. “The Majlis has also ratified anti-money laundering laws and laws against financing terrorism.”
Basel II is an international business standard that requires financial institutions to maintain enough cash reserves to cover risks incurred by operations. Basel III is a comprehensive set of reform measures designed to improve the regulation, supervision and risk management within the banking sector.
Seif noted that some of the terms in Iran’s nuclear accord with the six world powers last July need to be clarified .“The central bank has formed a special committee to clarify any misunderstanding about the nuclear agreement concerning banking relations with Iran.”
The Swiss delegates may refer to this committee should they have any questions, Seif said.

  Issues Clarified
René Weber, Swiss Head of Markets Division at the State Secretariat for International Finance told the meeting that his country is keen on enhancing ties with Iranian banks and provide training and technical knowledge as well as boost cooperation in legal and financial areas.
“In the meetings so far many issues have been clarified,” he said, welcoming Seif’s proposal for holding joint meetings.  “Such events can help expand corresponding banking relations between the Iran and Switzerland.”
Weber invited CBI officials to visit Switzerland to prepare the grounds for normalization of banking relations between the two sides.
A delegation of Swiss officials, led by President Johann Schneider-Ammann arrived in Tehran Saturday for an official visit. The two countries released a joint statement on Saturday, outlining a roadmap to expand cooperation.
It set out the details of the roadmap in 13 articles covering a wide range of areas, including politics, trade and finance, transport, agriculture, tourism, science, research and technology, environment, human rights, migration and consular relations.

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