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Middle East: Iran’s banks struggle with expectations

Banks in Iran have made progress since the signing of the nuclear deal, yet many obstacles to doing business internationally remain; for every step forward, there seems to be one back.

Akbar Komijani-600
Akbar Komijani is upset with the US treatment of Iran

Akbar Komijani, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran, finds it difficult to contain his frustration during an interview with Euromoney at the end of 2016.

“There has to be some speedy movement,” he says, impatient for international banks to accelerate their re-engagement with Iran. “Any actions that are taking place should be legitimized, should be lawful, but it doesn’t mean that this process should take a long, long period of time. We do feel that this is putting further pressure – and unwanted pressure – on the Iranian banks and Iranian economy. At the end, the final bitterness goes to the people of Iran.”

His voice rises: “It is not morally acceptable. Any party that has signed a contract should be respecting the commitments and should be moving ahead as scheduled.” 

Komijani is upset with the US treatment of Iran since the nuclear deal came into force in October 2015. The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was meant to free up Iran’s economy and banking sector by lifting most of the sanctions imposed on the country in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.

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