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Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Dr. Valiollah Seif said on Sunday that there is no restrictions for Iran’s international banking activities, except for the US banks.
Seif made the remarks in a meeting with South African Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
The CBI governor said that the Iran-G5+1 accord has lifted all sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program but the former sanctions prior to the nuclear dispute are still remaining which have nothing to do with the nuclear talks.
He said that Iran and South Africa have satisfactory banking relations and that under sanctions, there were rupture in bilateral relations which the two sides should strive for better times due to resolution of the dispute and the sanctions were lifted.
He noted that Iran-South Africa economic cooperation capacity is in a very high and the requisite for it is regulating banking relations and preparing facilities for bilateral economic activities. ‘So, we are ready for preparatory works and invite South African banks to resume banking relations and open up mutual accounts.’
‘We consider South Africa as hub of the African continent which can serve as a gateway of banking relations with the entire continent.’
He hoped for resumption of banking and economic relations between Iran and South Africa at an extensive level and said good investments were made by Iran and South Africa in the past, including the MTN company . ‘We should try to provide such issues with full banking support.’
The CBI governor said small and medium-sized banks have no problems with ties with Iranian banks.
‘Big banks fear and doubt having banking relations with Iran due to penalties of the US and it has made normalization of banking relations sluggish.’
On Iran-US recent discussions, he said the topics led the US Secretary of State John Kerry to say in a demand to foreign banks to have cooperation with Iranian banks. Seif quoted Kerry as announcing that any bank doubting in this concern can contact Washington. He referred to ratification of a law on campaign against financial support for terrorism and said very positive steps were taken in this respect.
He said that in a meeting, the US Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew had said Iran is in a very suitable condition but more steps should be taken.
He said one more step taken in that regard is promoting the financial structure and balance sheets of Iranian banks.
‘Promotion of the bad debt reserves and also increasing capital in banks is our target which is a process speedily underway.’
Gordhan hoped for normalization of economic relations and more activation of joint venture investments.
‘Iran is the hub the region and that provides us with abundant opportunities.’