During the Washington visit of Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Ali Tayyebnia, on 8th October 2016, the US Treasury Department announced that it now permits financial transactions in US dollars between Iran and non-US financial institutions. The only exception includes US dollar transactions involving the American financial system directly or indirectly, which can only be done with specific authorisation from the US treasury.
Furthermore, in its statement, the US Treasury emphasized that non-American banks or entities cannot refrain from providing services even to companies that may be controlled or owned by a person or organization still subject to US sanctions.
The US decided to provide new licenses for banking and trading with Iran after Iran’s protest for lack of commitment to the JCPOA agreement. In this regard, the central bank of Iran (CBI) announced on 16th October 2016 that banks across the country should not experience any problems by non-American financial institutions providing dollar-related services to Iranians based on the US Treasury’s recent update on the Guidance for Doing Business with Iran.
Even though the US government did not fully clear the path to elimination of the European concern for penalties which may be imposed in case of dealing with Iran, a number of multinationals have already started cooperating with Iran. The 16th Industry Exhibition of Tehran which took place during October 2016 hosted many companies from 27 countries, 15 of which were European, with a visible strong presence of German companies.
In this context, worth noting is also the return of Maersk, the largest maritime transportation company, to Iran. Maersk announced on 20th October 2016 that they started providing their services from and to Iranian ports. Airbus and Boeing are yet two more large companies currently negotiating with Iran following the US Treasury authorization.
Additionally, the British Treasury Department announced on 25th Oct 2016 that, according to the decision made by the European Union, new adjustments are introduced to the European Union regulations. Based on the reforms, Bank Saderat of Iran and PLC Bank (the European branch of Bank Saderat) have been removed from the list of Iranian entities that were blocked because of Iran’s nuclear program.
Iranian media has welcomed the lifting of the obstacle which was long criticized as it resulted in ownership relations being used as excuses for the non-provision of services to banks in Iran.
For further information on banking services in Iran as well as other professional services in the region, please contact the Executive Manager of Eurofast in Iran, Mr. Ali Najm.