Some $5b of Iran Assets Blocked in Italy
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Chairman of Iran-Italy Joint Chamber of Commerce Ahmad Pourfallah warned Iranian policy-makers and elites that if the country does not restore link with the SWIFT and join the FATF, the removal of sanctions will have no effect because the country will be unable to transfer money even after lifting the sanctions.
Speaking to ILNA, Pourfallah talked about the current trade condition between Iran and Italy, saying that for many years and especially in decades after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Italy has been Iran’s trade partner number one as Iran has experienced the record of 1.8b euro trade volume with Italy until ten years ago and Italy always used to meet the demands of its refineries by purchasing oil from Iran.
He went on to say that Italians used to buy Iran oil because their refineries’ systems were adjusted to Iran crude oil and they changed their refining systems through huge investment to replace Iran oil with oil from other countries. He added that returning to the previous condition is difficult but these are golden opportunities that Iran has missed.
Pourfallah further said that according to the available statistics, the trade volume of Iran and Italy before the outbreak of Coronavirus was around 600m euros which is insignificant but in comparison to other countries, Iran’s trade with Italy has not been cut and it still goes on narrowly especially small and medium size companies which have no ties with the U.S. have no problem in trade with Iran.
He admitted these small companies form a small portion of trade and Iran should seek a higher level of trade with major companies in the world.
Pourfallah added that Iran economy ranks 18 or 19 in the world and it should have more share of the global trade. He reiterated that sanctions and snubbing the FATF have great impact on the trade. He said having no SWIFT link with other countries has created headache for the country and opportunists take advantage of this condition and national interests of Iranians are imperiled.
He expressed hope with some openings in the international level which are happening, the sanctions would gradually become colorless.
He reiterated that policy-makers and elites should know this fact that even if the sanctions are lifted and the country does not restore link with the SWIFT and join the FATF, they will be useless because if one cannot transfer money, lifting the sanctions will be of no use.
Pourfallah said Italy is still standing by Iran and it has not been carried out by the certain emotions and both countries have kept their trade ties narrowly.
On the amount of Iran’s blocked assets in Italy, he said the amount of Iran’s money in Italy is not as much as in the countries like China, India and Iraq but the blocked money belongs to the last oil consignments sold to Italy which has not been repatriated and it is not a big figure and it is around 4 or 5 billion dollars.