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Iran’s banks cautious as Biden replaces Trump

Donald Trump reversed a deal that would have brought Iran back into the international fold. Now Joe Biden intends to reverse Trump’s reversal. Does that mean good times ahead for Iran’s banks?

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Iran at the White House in Washington
President Barack Obama announces the lifting of sanctions on Iran over its nulcear programme in January 2016

Between 2014 and 2016, Euromoney made frequent visits to Iran to report on the lifting of sanctions, the impact on the local banking industry and the potential engagement of foreign financiers.

All of that optimism and potential hit a brick wall with the arrival of president Donald Trump in the US and his withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the Iran nuclear deal – in 2018.

But with Trump gone and Joe Biden in power, could all of that optimism be revived?

Well, not so fast. Here’s one banker at a big Iranian bank: “May I suggest we put something in the diary for three to six months from now when things may have become much clearer?”

Here’s another: “Because of the current situation, I can’t give any interviews to you or to domestic media.”

A third: “Let’s talk later in the year.”

This isn’t just prudence or a fear of looking foolish if events don’t unfold as expected.

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