Economy, Domestic Economy

Bleak Prospects for Trade With Greece

Bleak Prospects for Trade With GreeceBleak Prospects for Trade With Greece

The Greek debt crisis has turned into a subject of many debates and discussions across the globe. The more the European country’s problems intensify, the more politicians become concerned about the impact of the crisis on their own economies.

On Sunday, Greece held a referendum in which it was decided that a bailout offer from the European Union and the subsequent austerity measures be rejected. The future of the Greek economy, however, is still ambiguous as it depends on how president Alexis Tsipras will manage upcoming negotiations with the EU to stop his country from being ejected from the Eurozone.

Economists believe regardless of the future of Greece, other countries of the world will be affected by the crisis.

So far, oil and gold prices have reacted many times to the news coming from the European country. And since most of Iran’s revenues come from oil, the Greek problem has also raised the question among Iranians that, to what extent does escalation in the Greek crisis concern Iran? As written in an article on Eghtesad News, the answer should be sought in Iran-Greece oil-related ties.

Along with countries such as China, Turkey, Italy, Spain, India and Japan, Greece used to be one of the main importers of Iran’s oil before the western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear energy program were imposed. Although, some of those countries did not considerably limit their trade ties with Iran in the sanctions era, Greece did.

Meanwhile, Greek refineries, British-Dutch-owned Shell, BP, South Korean Petrochemical and Polymer Company, along with Indian refineries top the list of Iran’s oil debtors. Iran’s unsettled dues for oil export are estimated at $20-25 billion.

Iran’s former OPEC governor, Ali Khatibi, suggested in June that the government should authorize the purchase of European refineries’ shares with the purpose of securing demand for Iranian oil when the sanctions are lifted.

“Sanctions relief will pave the way for Iran to purchase shares of refineries across the globe; especially those which are behind with their payments to Iran, such as Greece,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

Iran and world powers are currently at the eleventh hour of marathon nuclear talks to hammer out a deal which would put an end to a 12-year dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. The country expects a removal of the sanctions as soon as the deal is reached.

Many experts however believe that Iran’s long-term plan to revive some of its assets in Greece by the purchase of its refineries, solid as the plan may seem, does show an over-reliance on lifting of the sanctions, as any possible failure in the nuclear talks would further get in the way of bilateral interaction.

Even after a lifting of sanctions, in the shadow of the debt crisis in Greece close economic relations with the country will remain unpromising.