Cyrus Mehdizadeh, the Director of the British Iranian Chamber of Commerce, while emphasizing the urgency of the removal of banking obstacles, stated that the British enterprises are eagerly anticipating collaboration with Iran, and during the next few months.
IRNA reports in an interview with Mehdizadeh, who accompanied the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in London, that there is a huge interest on the side of the British entrepreneurs and the British government to renew and expand their commercial links with Iran. As such, during the upcoming months, we will be hosting various economic delegations from London.
‘The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce is intending to take a group of British entrepreneurs to Iran and during the past week the UK Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) allocated 50 million pounds financial credit to British enterprises which is a direct result of London’s interest in expanding commercial links with Iran,’ stated Mehdizadeh.
‘In fact they are willing to increase this credit roof, however this amount was decided on the spot in order to provide an immediate framework where there would be no obstacles for the British companies to enter into commercial relations with Iran,’ he asserted.
The director of British Iranian Commerce Chamber further contended ‘there still remain issues to be resolved’ alluding to banking issues as the major concern of the British businessmen to establish commercial relations with Iran. ‘Many British financial institutions and banks are still worried about the initial terms of sanctions imposed by the US that are still in effect and these institutions have previously signed agreements with the United States to cooperate. England has had to endure the highest fines for having commercial relations with Iran in the past, and therefore is extremely cautious in renewing theses links,’ he argued.
These issues must be dealt with and the operating framework clearly determined so that the British banks could freely enter into relations with Iran having peace of mind. At this point, however, unfortunately their hands are tied. Other countries such as France, Italy and Germany have also had to pay fines for having relations with Iran, and the British companies are currently lobbying the British government to remove these obstacles and there is hope for a favorable outcome, added Mehdizadeh
The British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in his meeting with Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that his government is doing its best to remove banking obstacles with Iran as soon as possible. ‘We still have issues to overcome and as sanctions are being lifted, banks should also make clear their policies.’ He assured collaborating with his counterparts in States, France and Germany along with banking officials in Iran to remove such limitations, adding that he hopes that the banks could support the British entrepreneurs to invest in Iran.
The Iranian Foreign Minister in a meeting with George Ozborne the British Chancellor of Exchequer alluded to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the role of Iran in fulfilling its commitment, requesting the removal of certain obstacles in the financial and banking relations between the two countries. Zarif confirmed his interest in renewing economic links with the UK, stating that Iran is more interested in attracting foreign investors than importing foreign goods.