EU pressing US to grant Iran access to financial markets
Since the Iran nuclear deal was approved by the U.N., the U.S. government has been saying that it will not grant access to U.S. financial markets or to the dollar.
But the EU and Iran are now saying that granting Iran that access is part of the nuclear deal and Washington must clear the way for Tehran to participate in international financial transactions.
“It’s essential that the other side, especially the United States, fulfill its commitments not on paper but in practice and removes the obstacles especially in banking sector,” according to the Iranians.
The EU is making further moves to help Iran become a member of the World Trade Organization, and has said it would seek to open a diplomatic mission in Tehran.
Europe has key economic interests to pursue in Iran, according to Mogherini, who disclosed that she is “pressuring the Obama administration” to sooth the impasse with Iran over access to the U.S. Dollar.
“The main message that I have delivered here is the fact that we Europeans have as much as an interest as the Iranians that this issue is solved,” she said over the weekend. “We have an economic interest also in coming back here as the first trading partner. … In order to do that we need our banks to be present here.”
The EU is also slated to begin joint work with Iran on civil nuclear projects.
Iran and its European allies are likely to hit roadblocks in the United States as they seek to give Tehran access to the U.S. financial system.
American officials are reportedly split over the issue, with the uncertainty causing concern in Congress.
Treasury Department officials have worked in recent days to assure skittish lawmakers that Iran will not gain access to the U.S banking system.
“We aren’t planning on allowing access to the U.S. financial system or making sure that Iran gets U.S. dollars,” the Treasury Department wrote to Congress, the Free Beacon recently reported.
Officials will instead instruct foreign banks on how to release billions of dollars in frozen assets to Iran that have been freed up as a result of the nuclear agreement.
“We will continue to work with banks to make sure they know what is allowed pursuant to the relief that Iran received but also, more importantly, what is still prohibited,” the Treasury Department said. “Those prohibitions are extensive as all of the sanctions except the nuclear sanctions are still in effect, including the secondary sanctions on” the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Giving Iran access to the dollar would facilitate the unfreezing of its assets. It would also allow the Iranians to move money more quickly and stealthily, giving them the opportunity to fund terrorist groups.
Funny that Obama never mentioned this when selling the treaty to Congress.
Iran is apparently interpreting the agreement in opposition to the way the U.S. sees it. But Obama has yet to stand up to the Iranians on any interpretation of the deal that is at odds with how the U.S. views it. He will no doubt cave on this issue as he has on all the others.