MPs Dismiss Western Statement of Trade Support

MPs Dismiss Western Statement of Trade SupportMPs Dismiss Western Statement of Trade Support

Lawmakers dismissed as a rhetorical gesture the recent statement by the US and European powers pledging to help relieve international concerns over business with Iranians.

A member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said the four-nation statement was a face-saving move to avoid an international backlash against their lack of commitment to the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"The statement by the foreign ministers of western powers promising to facilitate Iran's foreign trade was prompted by the pressure the US is facing in the international arena over its performance" on the action plan, Abbasali Mansouri-Arani told ICANA on Sunday.    

In the statement last week, the United States, Britain, France and Germany reaffirmed their commitment on cooperation to reassure skeptical foreigners that Iran is a safe place for investment, despite the lingering US restrictions.

The four powers, along with Russia and China, negotiated the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, which took effect in the early days of the current year to remove sanctions against Iran in exchange for temporary curbs on its nuclear work.

Tehran has expressed frustration that few trade deals have been implemented since the nuclear-related sanctions were lifted, as foreign banks avoid clearing Iran-linked dealings.

Non-US banks are prohibited from using the US financial system to process such transactions.

Iran has called on the United States to do more to remove obstacles to the banking sector so that businesses feel comfortable with investing in Iran without penalties. Another parliamentarian Hossein Naqavi Hosseini concurred with Mansouri-Arani, saying, "The statement … is credible only on paper and will have no practical impact."

"Instead of offering help, they issued a statement to justify their cynical disregard toward their JCPOA commitments," Hosseini added.