COVID-19 Vaccine Can Be Biden’s Green Light for Talks
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Chairman of Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce Sharif Nezam-Mafi says the major problem hindering Iran for buying COVID-19 vaccine is the transfer of money which should be solved, adding that God willing it will happen in the next 45 days.
Speaking to ILNA, Nezam-Mafi said that transfer of money is the major problem for the country for buying the vaccine which should be resolved soon and he hopes it would happen in the next 45 days, noting that until the time COVID-vaccine becomes accessible for the countries, Iran’s financial mechanism will open regarding this issue.
On the effects of sanctions and FATF on blocking Iran’s assets, he said the effects of sanctions are more than FATF on blocking Iran assets, adding that of course even all sanctions are lifted, the problem of being on the blacklist of the FATF will still remain but the FATF has always been an economic solution. He added that we can whether accept or reject the FATF but sanctions are one-sided, so the FATF is complementary to the sanctions and since it is a technical and economic issue, it can be resolved.
Nezam-Mafi further said that the goal behind sanctions is to frighten banks and companies not to work with Iran but the FATF has nothing to do with companies and it is only for foreign banks in order not to cooperate with Iran and it always gives time in order that the country can join its laws and regulations but sanctions have no laws and it actually shows some kind of lawlessness in the international community.
On the role of Switzerland financial mechanism (SHTA) on transfer of Iran’s frozen assets, he said with election of Joe Biden as the U.S. President, Iran’s frozen assets likely will be unfrozen little by little and will be handed over to Iran Central Bank in the SHTA in order that Iran can buy grains and necessary medicines especially COVID-19 vaccine through this channel.
He reiterated that FATF has nothing to do with release of Iran assets but since Iran is on its black list, foreign banks refrain from cooperating with Iran.
Nezam-Mafi noted that Biden Administration can unblock Iran assets in one day by an executive order, adding but it seems unlikely it happens and it will need talks. He admitted the third party countries have misused this condition by blocking Iran money and take advantage of it on the pretext of sanctions.
He said therefore Iran’s frozen money in countries like Iraq, South Korea, China or other countries is because of their fear of punishment or pretext but they should be committed to unblock Iran assets.
Nezam-Mafi went on to say that with the current condition that Trump Administration has created, Iran probably will face problem in importing COVID-19 vaccine but it seems it will not last too long.
He further said that one of the humanitarian gesture that Mr. Biden should signal as green light for talks is to resolve problem for imports of vaccine and it seems in will be resolved in 45 days.
He reiterated that food and medicines are not under sanctions but since all channels for foreign trade are closed, the trade of medicine and food actually faces sanctions.