Europe has undeniable economic interests in Iran: Official

Tasnim– Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines Gholam Hossein Shafei highlighted the reasons behind a recent move by France to finance exports to Iran and said European countries have “undeniable interests” in the Islamic Republic.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Saturday on the sidelines of a meeting of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), Shafei stressed the need for Iran to boost its presence in international markets and said the country should double its efforts to promote economic ties with world countries, Europeans in particular.

Regarding the economic relations, the European side has also undeniable interests in the Islamic Republic, he said.

The official added that through developing ties with Iran, Europe could gain easy access to regional markets.

France will start offering euro-denominated credits to Iranian buyers of its goods later this year, a move to bolster trade while keeping it outside the reach of US sanctions, the head of state-owned investment bank Bpifrance has said.

“We put a lot of preparation into this in 2017 and we keep on working, every single day, on the conditions of our entrance into Iran,” Bpifrance’s chief executive Nicolas Dufourcq said, referring to the new loans, Reuters reported on Thursday.

“This is a completely separate flow (of money),” he added.

“There is no (US) dollar in this scheme… no one holding a US passport.”

There is a pipeline of about 1.5 billion euros in potential contracts from interested French exporters, Dufourcq told lawmakers.

The plan is to offer dedicated, euro-denominated export guarantees to Iranian buyers of French goods and services. By structuring the financing through vehicles without any US link, whether to the currency or otherwise, the aim is to avoid the extraterritorial reach of US legislation.