EghtesadOnline: In spite of US President Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks on the nuclear deal (formally referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and their negative impact, there is room for optimism with regard to the future of banking ties with Europe, the head of the International Bankers Forum and a chief organizer of the Iran-Europe Banking and Business Forum said.
“Establishment of trade and banking ties with Iran [byEuropean banks and companies] is anticipated, but we currently have to wait and I am confident that we have good reason to remain optimistic,” Dr. Nader Maleki was also quoted as saying, according to the official news outlet of the upcoming business forum.
As a good sign, Maleki referred to the letter sent by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan last week, certifying that Iran has complied with its commitments under JCPOA, calling it a harbinger of positive developments in future.
Acording to Tillerson, Trump has also directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the nuclear accord, Financial Tribune reported.
Maleki, who is also the founder and owner of Maleki Communications Group, now a Germany subsidiary of Deutscher Fachverlag media group, noted that in March 2016 when the second Iran-Europe forum was held, the most important issue was the reconnection of the Iranian banking system with international players.
This, he adds, is a matter “which has remained unsolved, such that Iranian and European companies want to recommence their trade ties, but do not know how to receive funding in order to finance their projects”.
According to the prominent businessman who started his professional career by joining Deutsche Bank in Munich in 1979, European banks are still holding back on collaborating with their Iranian peers and companies in fear of heavy US penalties.
He cited as examples Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas that have had to pay hefty penalties, which made European banks more wary of their Iran ties.
The Trump presidency “has made matters more complicated” in light of the fact that he is yet to announce a clear policy plan in dealing with Iran and that he has called JCPOA “the worst deal in history”.
“In case of the continuation of problems related to gaining the approval of European banks to sign agreements with Iran and the threat posed by the sanctions snapback scenario, I am sure that strengthening Europe-based Iranian banks can be a smart move,” said Maleki who was awarded the Federal Cross of Merits by the German president in 2002.
He added that because of its numerous links, Iran is and will be a “unique and suitable” partner for Germany and Europe in general and advised both sides to remain patient and keep up their efforts in establishing links. Tehran is to host the Iran-Europe Banking and Business Forum, organized by the Monetary and Banking Research Institute with representatives from 35 European banks, companies and financial institutes, on April 29-30.