Iran’s bankers wait for Trump’s next move

Olivier Holmey
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Immediately after Donald Trump’s election victory, Euromoney visited Tehran to gauge the reaction of one group likely to be affected more than most – Iran’s banking community. Throughout his campaign Trump threatened to tear up the nuclear agreement that has allowed Iran to take its first tentative steps towards international rehabilitation. But bankers in Tehran are determined to hold on to their hard-won gains.

Illustration: Morten Morland

"I have no knowledge of US politics, to be honest," he says, wryly, as he reclines in his chair. "But my understanding so far is: Democrats say something, do something else and stab you in the back. With Republicans, it’s two ways – war or business. 

"Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama: these are all complicated people with complicated solutions," he continues. "They never resolve issues. At least, with Republicans, we have a clear picture."

This is the view of a senior Iranian banker in his office in Tehran, as he tries to make sense of Donald Trump’s imminent accession to the White House.

Trump’s election is of vital significance to Iran’s banks because he has vowed to undo the nuclear deal signed last year, which removes nuclear-related sanctions on Iran and its banks in exchange for limitations on the country’s nuclear programme. The deal, the...