Source: Tehran Times
Top foreign policy decision-makers of Iran and EU sat together on the sidelines of the Oslo Forum 2016 to clear away obstacles hindering full implementation of the nuclear deal. Participating in the meeting were Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini with other senior diplomats.
One key concern of Iran after the implementation of the nuclear deal has been reluctance shown by international banks, including European ones, to normalize ties with Iranian partners, taking fright at possible fines by the U.S.
"In the first four months this year trade between the European Union and Iran increased by 22 percent," Mogherini told a news conference on Tuesday, adding, "We are very actively engaging with the business community and the banks in Europe and elsewhere to encourage engaging in Iran."
The unsatisfied Tehran has aired grievances, urging the U.S. to take measures to soothe Europeans' banking fears.
During his May visit with New Zealand's Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully in Tehran, Zarif lamented that "We have not fully achieved what we must have, and more measures need to be carried out by the U.S."
The banking challenge will be most likely one major theme of the meeting between Zarif and his American counterpart John Kerry slated for Wednesday.
Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, EU terminated limitations on transfers of funds between EU persons and entities, including financial institutions, and Iranian persons and entities, including financial institutions.
Also, EU agreed to allow banking activities, including the establishment of new correspondent banking relationships and the opening of new branches and subsidiaries of Iranian banks in the territories of EU Member States.
Iran expects to reap economic gains from the deal with West and strong banking ties with international partners is key to fulfilling the goal.
Iran and the 5+1 group of countries, including five permanent members of the UN Security Council members plus Germany, forged a deal in July 2015 on Tehran's nuclear program, resulting in removal of sanctions against Iran in exchange for constraints on the country's nuclear activities.
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