The United States must do more to encourage banks to do business with Iran following the lifting of sanctions, Iran’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
The United States and Europe lifted sanctions on Tehran in January under a deal which also agreed to curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme. However some restrictions remain, including on financial transactions, slowing Iranian hopes to reintegrate with world markets.
“I believe the United States on paper has removed all the sanctions,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said, but Washington needs to do more to removed the “psychological remnants” of measures which had been in place for decades.
“On the banks, I believe it is important for everybody to realise that an agreement will be sustainable if everybody feels they are making gains from the agreement,” he told a news conference in Norway with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
“Its implementation must also be a win-win implementation so that everybody feels there are benefits, there are dividends,” Zarif said.
Mogherini said the European Union was engaging with businesses and banks to encourage them to do business in Iran following the signing of the nuclear deal, but cautioned that progress would take time.
“In the first four months this year trade between the European Union and Iran increased by 22 percent,” she said. “We are very actively engaging with the business community and the banks in Europe and elsewhere to encourage engaging in Iran.”
Although challenges remain, developments were heading “in the right direction”, she said. “Europe is committed to ensure that the Iranian citizens can benefit from the lifting of the sanctions,” Mogherini said.