Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asked the U.S. to do more to remove obstacles for the country to join the global banking sector post sanctions. Zarif made the comments at a meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini Saturday.
International sanctions on Iran were lifted in January after it curbed its nuclear program. However, some U.S. sanctions have yet to be removed and U.S. banks are prohibited from doing business with Iran directly or indirectly because Washington still accuses Tehran of "supporting terrorism."
This has discouraged European banks from entering the country’s financial markets fearing regulatory and legal problems in their dealings with the U.S., Reuters reported. Iran has also faced troubles in recovering tens of billions of dollars of its oil revenues that were frozen in overseas accounts under U.S. sanctions.
On Saturday, Zarif and Mogherini said in a joint statement that EU and Iran were agreed on the expansion of economic relations, and "encouraging banking cooperation."
On Friday, Iran’s central bank governor, on a visit to Washington, demanded that the Obama administration take more steps to facilitate the country’s banking transactions worldwide.
“They need to do whatever is needed to honor their commitments,” Iran’s central bank governor Valiollah Seif reportedly said . Otherwise, the [Iran nuclear deal] breaks up under its own terms,” he added.
The White House in response to Seif’s comments replied that the U.S. is abiding by the nuclear agreement.
“The United States is fulfilling our commitments to the JCPOA, consistent with the letter and spirit of that agreement,” said Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, the Wall Street Journal reported.