UK Banks in Talks With OFAC to Ease Iran Hurdles
British banks are in talks with the US agency that is charged with planning and execution of economic and trade sanctions in order to facilitate the reestablishment of links with their Iranian counterparts, said the special envoy of UK prime minister to Iran.
“To ease the process of connecting with Iranian banks, officials and representatives of British banks are negotiating with the OFAC,” Lord Norman Lamont was quoted as saying in Tehran by the news website of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
“The issue has not been left stagnant and representatives of British and European banks are working hard to receive necessary guarantees relating to Iran from the US.”
The British politician, who is also the chairman of the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, was meeting with Gholam Hussein Shafei, the head of ICCIMA.
The former chancellor of the exchequer added that as is the case for Iranian banks, restrictions imposed by the US are also a problem for British banks. “At the meeting I had with (US secretary of state) John Kerry and an OFAC representative, he emphasized that Europe must have (restore) its banking ties with Iran and that the problems that have arisen were not anticipated.”
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is a financial intelligence and enforcement agency of the US Treasury Department charged with planning and execution of economic and trade sanctions.
Shafei referred to the recent developments in Britain, namely the June vote to leave the European Union, calling it a window of opportunity to increase commerce between the two countries.
“A need for non-European markets can prove to be an opportunity to expand deal with Iran as a country that has previously worked with the UK and lead to closer bilateral and multilateral collaboration in the region,” he said.