Economy, Business And Markets

US Castigated Again Over Banking Problems

US Castigated Again Over Banking ProblemsUS Castigated Again Over Banking Problems

United States should take more responsibility about its commitments to facilitate Iran’s relink to international financial markets, Valiollah Seif, governor of Central Bank of Iran said on Tuesday.

“What they have done so far is simply insufficient. The US should hold face-to-face meetings with European bankers to ease their concerns over doing business with Iran, exactly like what it did to push them to stop dealing with Tehran during the sanctions years,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with IRNA in Washington.  

Seif traveled to the US attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. He also addressed the influential Council of Foreign Relations on Friday, where he criticized the US and European governments for not honoring their commitments enshrined in the nuclear deal with Iran. The deal signed between Iran and the six world powers last July calls on the lifting of economic and banking sanctions on Tehran in exchange for the latter curbing its nuclear energy program.

Banking relations are getting more complicated due to the global [financial] crisis and issues related to money laundering, Seif said.  “Complications in banking relations were also addressed during the IMF-WB meetings.”

Due to the unjust restrictions in recent years, Iran is lagging behind global banking trends and standards. However, “Iranian bankers are working hard to catch up.”

He referred to a recent meeting with FATF (Financial Action Task Force) officials in Paris, where “officials from the CBI, Ministry of Economy and Foreign Ministry briefed the participants with Iran’s measures to improve the banks’ compatibility with global norms,” saying that FATF welcomed the measures.

  Relevant Laws

Iran’s parliament had passed an anti-money laundering law years ago and last month approved legislation to combat the financing of terrorism that has affected countries far and wide.

Iran is doing its best to upgrade its banking standards, the senior banker said. “We also asked the IMF to take supportive measures in this process.”

Seif noted that some European banks have started working with Iran, namely Italian banks and banks in Austria.

 “During the Italian delegation’s visit to Tehran last week, one of their major commercial banks started relations with the CBI,” Seif said without elaboration.

Voicing similar sentiments, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif complained on Tuesday that international banks remain wary of US regulations and need “reassurances” that they can resume business with Tehran after its nuclear deal with the world powers.

Zarif, speaking in New York ahead of a Tuesday meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, said talks with his counterpart were necessary to follow up on the implementation of the agreement on the US side.

The deal’s aim “was to not have the US intervene in Iran’s relations with most other countries,” ISNA cited Zarif as saying. “We should prevent past US regulations from being obstacles to most financial institutions in Europe and Asia wanting to restore banking relations with Iran.”