Economy, Business And Markets

EP Willing to Assist in Removing Banking Hurdles

EP Willing to Assist in Removing Banking HurdlesEP Willing to Assist in Removing Banking Hurdles

The European Parliament will use its influence to help Iran reconnect to the global banking network faster, said a British member of EU Parliament, Richard Hewitt, during a visit to Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mining on Saturday.

“Rapid changes in the global banking system have intensified the complexities for Iran to reintegrate with the global banking network. It is a time-consuming process,” he was quoted as saying by the TCCIM website.

He referred to ongoing talks between European and Iranian banks and said, “Iranian banks should prepare themselves to address the concerns of European banks.”

Hewitt opined that some of the problems need to be addressed inside Iran. “Iranians should help regain the [European lenders’] trust.”

 “We have been putting efforts in solving the current banking obstacles and are eager to know if you have any suggestions for getting through the issue.”

The EP member said, “Honestly, my presence here is an attempt to help find practical solutions for removing obstacles in the way of expanding relations.”

The official asked for information about opportunities for collaboration between the EU and Iran, so that he could “push for practical measures for enhancing ties” when he returns to Brussels.

Masoud Khansari, the TCCIM head, however, criticized European countries for their hesitation on restoring relations with Iran.

 “I wonder how a 27-member bloc cannot make its own decisions without interference from the US,” he said.

“Money transfers is the only obstacle for reviving commercial relation,” he noted.

If the Europeans keep delaying trade with Iran, it will be compelled to build closer ties with Asian countries as was the case during the sanctions. “Both sides should make the best of the opportunity [created by lifting of the sanctions].”

European banks, some of which have been punished for violating the US sanctions, are hesitant in resuming normal trade until they get concrete reassurance that they will not be hit again by the US’ anti-Iran legislations.

US Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting in London in May where he told Europe’s top bankers that they have nothing to fear from resuming business with Iran as long as they make proper checks on trade partners.

A meeting between the Iranian central bank, the US Treasury and international banks in London to discuss stalled progress on banks resuming ties with Iran was cancelled last week.  

Italy’s Unicredit, Switzerland’s BCP and Austria’s Erste Bank are reportedly some of the European banks that have started relations with Iran after lifting of the punitive restrictions in January.