Iran presses US for more global financial access


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with Hossein Fereydoun (C), the brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R), before the Secretary and Foreign Minister addressed an international press corps gathered at the Austria Center in Vienna, Austria, July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an "historic surrender". REUTERS/US State Department/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION WILL BE PROVIDED SEPARATELY.

Tehran—Iran’s main goal in its nuclear talks with world powers was to secure access to the global financial system, and the United States must now do more to remove obstacles to the banking sector, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday. In January, world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted most sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
The EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini arrived in Tehran on Saturday on her first visit since a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers came into force as tensions surface over its implementation.
Mogherini, who was the lead negotiator for the six powers who struck the deal, was accompanied by other top EU officials.
Her one-day trip comes after Iran raised concerns about banking sanctions, with officials saying the West, particularly the United States, is still creating hurdles to its access to the global financial system.
Zarif used the visit of EU foreign policy chief to make his point. But some US sanctions remain, and US banks remain prohibited from doing business with Iran directly or indirectly because Washington still accuses Tehran of “supporting terrorism”. That has deterred European institutions, which fear they could face US legal problems if they re-establish banking links.
“Iran and the EU will put pressure on the United States to facilitate the cooperation of non-American banks with Iran,” Zarif said at a news conference in Tehran with Mogherini who said in a tweet that she was leading a team of seven EU commissioners.
“It’s essential that the other side, especially the United States, fulfil its commitments not on paper but in practice and removes the obstacles especially in banking sector,” he said.
Zarif and Mogherini said in a joint statement after the news conference that the EU and Iran were agreed on the expansion of economic relations, and “encouraging banking cooperation.”
Not inclusive: The White House said on Friday that an agreement with Iran does not include giving it access to the global financial system.—Agencies

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