Iran, Japan banks cooperating by using yen

Iran says Japan’s banks have started to cooperate with their Iranian partners by using the yen – a move that could open a new chapter in economic relations between the two countries in a post-sanctions era.

Pedram Soltani, the deputy chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, said Japan’s External Trade Organization (JETRO) had announced the start of cooperation between the banks of the two countries. 

Soltani also added the Japanese officials complain that the red-tape in Iran is preventing the expansion of economic relations between the two countries. 

This concern, he said, is what the government of President Hassan Rouhani is trying to address in the near future. 

Still, Soltani emphasized, the Japanese businesses should not lose the opportunities that currently exist in Iran and should take measures to cement their foothold in the Iranian market to stay ahead of their rivals.

Japan in January said it had lifted its sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions included a ban on Japanese banks dealing with Iranian banks.

Accordingly, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Japan's largest bank, announced in February that it had resumed transactions with Iranian banks, including payments for Iranian crude oil bought by Japanese refiners. 

BTMU handled most of Japan's payments for Iranian oil prior to the sanctions in mid-2012, Platts quoted industry sources as saying.

The removal of anti-Iran sanctions by Japan came within a few weeks after a series of draconian economic sanctions – that included bans on banking activities with Iran – were lifted as a result of the implementation of a nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany. 

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