US Failed to Comply with JCPOA Commitments, CBI Chief Says
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Chief Valiollah Seif censured Washington for failing to fulfill its commitments under a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers (known as the JCPOA), saying that “almost nothing” has happened for facilitating Iran’s financial transactions.
Iran expects Washington to reinstitute limited access to the US dollar to facilitate the Islamic Republic’s financial transactions with the rest of the world and fully implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Seif, who is on an official visit to the US, said.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for “effective implementation of the agreement in such a way that Iran’s economic and business activities will be facilitated,” he was quoted as saying by Al-Monitor on Friday
This includes, Seif said, what is known as the U-turn: Transactions that must be cleared through a US financial institution even though the money does not stay in the US bank.
Such brief contact with the dollar is customary when currencies such as the Indian rupee are converted into euros; the dollar is used in pricing the conversion. Iran would like to employ the U-turn to gain easier access to some $100 billion in foreign reserves that had been frozen in Asian banks prior to the JCPOA.
US officials, including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew — with whom Seif met on April 14 — have ruled out reinstituting the U-turn for Iran even though the procedure was allowed from 1995, when the United States ended direct banking relations with Iran and imposed a wide trade embargo, until 2008.
Seif made it clear that the JCPOA was predicated on the lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions and that the U-turn waiver was included.
“This is our expectation that the agreement will lead to that,” Seif told Al-Monitor.
In an appearance April 15 at the Council on Foreign Relations, Seif said Iran had not seen the results it expected after implementation of the JCPOA. “Almost nothing” has happened, Seif said. “In general, we are not able to use our frozen funds abroad.” He asked for more “serious efforts” by the US government to fulfill its commitments to help Iran re-enter the global financial system. “They have not honored their obligations,” Seif said.
While the JCPOA, a 159-page nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) came into force in January, Iranian officials have complained about the US failure to fully implement the accord.