Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says two Iranian banks will start operating in Britain soon, increasing the number of Iranian banks active in the UK to four.
Speaking to IRNA following a meeting with the visiting British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Tehran on Sunday, Valiollah Seif noted that the two banks include the London branch of Bank Melli Iran and the Persia International Bank.
Explaining on his meeting with Hammond, Seif said during their negotiations, the two sides discussed past cooperation as well as the existing capacities for the expansion of that cooperation.
He added that the British top diplomat indicated willingness of his country’s banks to operate in Iran, saying that facilitation of banking operations in the two countries was another point of discussion between the two sides.
“During negotiations, we discussed major obstacles to raising the volume of trade between the two countries, which are mostly related to banking, insurance and transportation restrictions. The two sides emphasized their serious will to remove these obstacles,” he noted.
Iran’s CBI governor stated that the two sides also decided to exchange banking delegations in order to pave the way for cooperation between Iranian and British banks.
According to IRNA, during his meeting with the CBI governor, Hammond emphasized that the two countries should do away with bureaucratic obstacles that hamper expansion of their trade and economic ties.
He added that Iranian banks will be able to restart their activities in the UK once sanctions against Iran’s financial sector are removed.
The British foreign secretary noted that Britain’s embassy in Iran should take necessary measures to facilitate trade and economic exchanges between the two countries.
Hammond arrived in Tehran earlier on Sunday to reopen the UK embassy and hold talks with high-ranking Iranian officials.
During his two-day trip, Hammond is scheduled to hold talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani. He has already met and conferred with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seif, and Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.
He is accompanied by a politico-economic delegation, including representatives of major British companies such as the Royal-Dutch Shell.