Economy, Business And Markets

US Mixed Signals Hampering Iran Trade

US Mixed Signals Hampering Iran TradeUS Mixed Signals Hampering Iran Trade

Various US officials, including secretary of state John Kerry, have attempted to reassure European banks on funding authorized Iranian trade.

However, without written confirmation from the US Treasury, the reopening of trade finance lines will continue to be hard work, according to UK-based news provider Global Trade Review.

It has been almost six months since the official lifting of nuclear sanctions as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and large international banks have attended countless meetings with governments trying to encourage them to fund the tremendous trade and investment opportunities presented by Iran.

In the most recent example last week, Kerry told Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas, Santander, RBS, Barclays and Lloyds representatives in London that “legitimate business, which is clear under the definition of the agreement, is available to banks”.

Still, none of them has reopened their business lines in the country yet, for fear of falling foul of the many sanctions applying to US persons.

A survey published on Wednesday by Clyde & Co confirms that remaining US sanctions are also dissuading businesses from reentering Iran, with 25% of senior executives of UK-headquartered international businesses looking at Iran naming these as their top concern, more than any other category.

Clyde & Co explains that although there has been significant sanctions relief, the US sanctions that remain in place are proving a strong disincentive to businesses looking to do business with Iran, and even more so their financiers.

John Whittaker, partner at Clyde & Co, explains: “The remaining US sanctions are a concern, not because the US sanctions apply directly but due to the uncertainty amongst exporters and their financiers about the consequences of breaching the remaining sanctions.”