Economy, Domestic Economy

British Trade Delegation Expected

British Trade Delegation ExpectedBritish Trade Delegation Expected

A 30- strong British trade delegation is scheduled to visit Tehran on October 2 to witness Iran's economic situation firsthand and prepare for entering the country in the post-sanctions era.

"We seek to better see, hear and understand Iran," Martin Johnson, director general of UK-Iran Chamber of Commerce, who is leading the delegation, told IRNA.

Johnson noted that British firms are not yet able to strike trade and cooperation deals with Iran due to western sanctions imposed against Iran over its nuclear energy program and expected to be lifted by early 2016.

He said the upcoming visit will help identify potential areas of cooperation with Iran while introducing their services and products to Iranian firms.

British firms are highly eager to do trade with Iran, according to Johnson, but "international regulations and limitations" have held them back.

Member of the board of directors at UK-Iran Chamber of Commerce, Sirous Mehdizadeh, believes that Britain's five major banks, namely HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Standard Chartered, are hindering renewal of trade ties between the two countries.

"All major British firms' transactions with Iran have to go through these banks, which are controlled by their shareholders and not the UK's central bank. These banks have been persecuted many times by the United States for attempting to do trade with Iran, and consequently, British firms are still wary of doing business with Iran and have to wait for the green light from the US," IRNA quoted Mehdizadeh as saying.

Johnson noted that discussions with Iranian firms during the upcoming visit can lead to trade and cooperation deals as soon as sanctions imposed on Iran are lifted, emphasizing that the US will announce its new financial policies on October 18 toward Iran.

Based on the obligations it agreed to in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, these policies will open the path for renewing trade with Iran.

According to the Iranian official, the trade delegation is made up of representatives from 15 British firms active in pharmaceutical, transportation, mining and energy sectors. It will visit Iran's economic sites such as Iran and Tehran chambers of commerce, industries, mines and agriculture; Tehran Stock Exchange; Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade; Oil Ministry and major Iranian banks during its four-day stay.

British Chancellor George Osborne had announced on Saturday that he wants to lead what might be the country's biggest trade delegation to Iran next year, saying that there will be growing potential to do business with Iran.