Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati has revealed that Iran is pressing the United States for a guaranteed relief from sanctions that have targeted the country’s entire banking system in recent years.
In written answers given to questions by American economic news website Bloomberg published on Sunday, Hemmati said that Iran has been insisting on removal of banking sanctions as a condition to return to full compliance with the JCPOA, the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that was abandoned in 2018 by a former government in Washington.
“The removal of sanctions against the central bank, Iranian banks, SWIFT, and any money transfer between them and major foreign correspondent banks, needs to be verified,” said Hemmati making a reference to the financial massaging service in Belgium which refuses to clear transactions involving the CBI and other Iranian banks because of US sanctions.
Iran and the US have been engaged in indirect talks with other global powers in the Austrian capital Vienna as they seek to revive the JCPOA.
US president Joe Biden said on Friday that the United States is ready to lift many of the sanctions imposed on Iran in recent years but he indicated that Iranian side has not been happy with the move and is pressing for a more inclusive sanctions relief.
Iranian negotiators in Vienna have made it clear that Washington should do more to salvage the JCPOA as it was the party who violated its commitments regarding the deal.
Hemmati told the Bloomberg he was hopeful that a deal could be reached in the talks in Vienna. He said that Iran would be able to verify whether the sanctions have been relieved from the banks.
“Personally, I am hopeful about the trend of negotiations ... We will make the verification in our own ways,” he said, according to remarks confirmed on the CBI website on Sunday.