US treasury accused of ‘terrorism’ as Russia looks to win race to secure foothold in Iranian banking sector

Iranian banking sector: Russian banks  are ready to steal a march on their Western counterparts by establishing a foothold in Iran, according to a senior figure in the Russian banking sector, just weeks after the  government in Tehran accused the US Treasury of intimidating US and EU banks from following suit. “Iran is emerging from years of sanctions, the quality of banking services there has declined and Russian players can enter the market with interesting products for business and the public,” the President of the Russia’s Association of Regional Banks Anatoliy Aksanov told Isvestia earlier this week. “It is obvious that the amount of trade between Russia and Iran is going to increase. It would be expedient to find a niche while there isn’t stiff competition from other international organizations.”
Aksanov’s remarks are a clear allusion to earlier claims by Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia that the US Treasury had “somewhat terrorised” European banks and investors from resuming business with Iran by deliberately not clarifying how they were allowed to operate in Iran without falling foul of US law, despite the lifting of sanctions in January.  “The European banks have some reluctance, let’s say, in terms of not being certain as to what the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)’s decision would be if they get engaged. It’s more of a psychological problem than a legal one,” he said.
The poor state of Iran’s banking sector – cut off  in varying degrees  from the rest of the world since the 1979  revolution –  is  now  seen as the biggest hurdle to the country’s economic recovery. “Our banking system, like our economy, has been isolated and has no idea what has happened in the world over the past decades,” a senior banker Tehran told the Financial Times immediately after sanctions were lifted. Zamaninia’s outburst is an indication of the frustrations felt at the highest government levels about the lack of progress since then.

Source: isna