Iran and the P5+1 group (United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany), reached the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in July 2015 in the Austrian capital Vienna. The agreement went into effect on January 16. Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to put some restrictions on its nuclear energy program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions that had been imposed on the Islamic Republic based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear program.
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US banks remain banned from dealing with Iran as part of an old US trade embargo that still remains in place. USA left the sanctions on, and it’s still illegal for American banks to conduct business with Iran. But in May 2016, on his EU visit, the US Secretary of State, promised EU banks that there will be no consequences upon them, if doing business with Iran. Remains unknown why it’s OK for Europeans to conduct business with Iran, but this same thing is forbidden for Americans.
Rightfully, some European banks remain on the front line, scarred by a string of multibillion-dollar fines for previous sanction breaches in Iran. On the other hand banks know that there is no legitimate business in Iran, not even one sector. Cooperation with Iran is impossible- laws in Iran, are manipulative and unthinkable for EU democratic laws.
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|In the announcing statement DZ Bank–Germany, were saying “We have started on-boarding Iranian banks in terms of trade finance co-operation, according to standard procedures. Going forward we might also seek to build correspondent banking relationships”.
|Austria’s Erste Bank have started handling transactions on behalf of European clients doing business in Iran following the removal of sanctions against the country.
|Oberbank is an independent regional bank located in the heart of Europe and headquartered in Linz in the north-center of Austria and Raiffeisen Bank International is the central and the largest institution of the Raiffeisen Banking Group.
|Gazprombank is one of the three largest banks in Russia and ranks fifth on the list of banks in Central and Eastern Europe. The bank is owned by the Russian natural gas company Gazprom.
|From the EIH, official webpage: “Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank has a international network of correspondent banks and two branches in Tehran and the Iranian free trade zone Kish Island.” “Since its foundation in 1971, Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG is geared as a specialist bank towards business relations with Iran, with customers and business partners in Germany and Iran as well as in Europe and other parts of the world.”
|KBC, Belgium’s biggest bank, has announced that “KBC indeed has developed correspondent relationships with several state-owned and private Iranian banks.”
|From the Bank Melli Iran- Germany, official webpage: “Founded in 1928, the bank opened the Hamburg Branch in 1965. The German city is not only the country’s most important port for foreign trade but has also a large Iranian community.” “When it comes to our core business – the settlement of foreign trade transactions with Iran – we are at the right location. We offer corporate clients from Iran and Europe trade-finance solutions, guarantees, letters of credit, documentary collection services and international payments.”
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We want to prevent banks and other entities from facing losses. You can not see the risk of your collaboration with Iran now, but you are making someone’s dream- reality. You can’t see now what you’re pushed into, but you should know that you’re fighting someone else’s war.
We believe that by approaching major banks, which are still hesitating regarding this matter, with this information, by explaining the risks, will enable them, to influence smaller banks to reconsider any financial ties with Iran.