US Treasury blocking Iran’s trade with overseas companies

TEHRAN, Apr. 03 (MNA) – Iran’s deputy minister for legal and international affairs has said Iran’s missile program had never been a matter of negotiation during nuclear talks with the 5+1.

Seyyed Abbas Araghchi was speaking to Iran's IRIB Channel Two Special News Program on Saturday night about the matters of sanctions, JCPOA implementation and banking interactions with the world. He objected that the US Treasury had regularly sabotaged Iran’s trade with foreign companies. “US officials and negotiators had developed more than realistic expectations about Iran’s missile program, but they failed to reach even a single expectation. In no part of the nuclear talks had the missile program been a subject matter negotiable. It is far from prudence to negotiate sensitive defense matters and no country would do this,” he told the program. Mr. Araghchi accounts Ms. Wendy Sherman’s insistence that missile program be negotiated, but according to Araghchi’s version, Iranian negotiators threatened to pull out of the table, which was an effective measure to keep the negotiators at bay from daring into the matter of Iran’s missile program in subsequent meetings.

“On recent US initiative to precipitate sanctions against Iran for alleged violation of Resolution 2231, the US was in a shortage of evidence to corroborate the claim that the missiles was capable of carrying nuclear warheads. So, it gained little support in the UN,” Araghchi added. On the issue of travel visa restrictions, he said that the difference had to be settled yet with the US officials. “With Iran’s objections, President Obama suspended part of the legislation, however travel agencies inside have not yet voiced complaints, since the law would restrict flow of tourists to the country.”

Araghchi who is the head of JCPOA Follow-up Committee, told the program that the foundation of sanctions related to nuclear program had been severely shaken and now no UN resolution would endorse any sanctions; “in action however, the implementation is slow and difficult; a complete comeback to conditions before sanctions is also a long process, since full restoration of banking interactions and other economic transactions will need time; apart from these troubles, the US breaching their promises exacerbates the whole situation,” he emphasized.

On Iran’s unfrozen assets, Araghchi said that the JCPOA-related unfrozen assets amount to a lump sum of $ 100bn, but spread in different banking settings; “part of the assets was invested in Iran’s oil and gas projects, with other parts being deposited in an account in China which amounted to $ 32bn; so far, 300 brokerage by foreign state banks have been established, including 20 with Meli Bank of Iran, 43 for Mellat Bank, and 14 others for Tejarat Bank of Iran. This clearly indicates improvements in banking interaction with foreign financial institutions,” he added.

On general criticism that SWIFT still had been closed to Iranian banks, Araghchi responded that SWIFT room in the Central Bank of Iran would provide proofs that the banking system had already joined the SWIFT.

Araghchi however portrayed a grim image for the future with lasting effect of non-nuclear sanctions which had been biting Iran’s economy since long; on doing exchanges in US dollars, Araghchi said that Iran generally tried to use alternative currencies in doing trade. However, he added that the legacy of past sanctions still hit the economy, which also included doing trade in dollar, which significantly decreased Iran’s leverage in economic terms.

 

SH/3589008

 

News Code 115516

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