Bankers ‘Astonished’ at Impacts of Sanctions
Under JPOA, Iran will have access to a total of $4.2 billion in unfrozen funds. The remainder $1.65 billion will be transferred to CBI in three installments in the next three months.
Many organizations whose operations require significant amount of hard foreign currency, from commodity importers to the Quds Force, are lined up to get their share of the unfrozen funds; it would be interesting to observe how the CBI will distribute the funds among them.
Meanwhile, the impacts of international sanctions and Iran’s own experience were discussed by government technocrats and bankers in Tehran during interviews with the Wall Street Journal. They voiced “astonishment” on how much damage the U.S.-led sanctions has had on the Iranian economy.
In today’s post by Jay Solomon on WSJ’s Washington Wire blog, many of the Iranians are reported saying that they initially believed that “a large oil-producing country like Iran would largely be immune to Western financial penalties.” But they said they were mistaken, and they even advised Russia not to be dismissive of the threats of U.S. sanctions over Ukraine.
“The U.S. sanctions are vicious because they largely just targeted our banks,” said a senior Iranian banker. “The Americans essentially forced businesses to choose between doing business in dollars or dealing with Iran. That’s a no-brainer for most.” (WSJ/Washington Wire, 17 April)