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Britain seeking to ease export financing with Iran

Britain has signed a deal with Iran making it easier to finance exports

Published: Updated:

Britain has signed a deal with Iran making it easier to finance exports, British Business Secretary Sajid Javid said on Wednesday, adding that the UK was working with European partners to help ease the impact of banking restrictions.

Javid told a conference in London that Britain’s export agency and its Iranian counterpart had signed a memorandum of understanding earlier that day.

“The two organisations have committed to promoting the financing of contracts and projects involving exports between our nations,” he said.

International sanctions, including banking restrictions, imposed on Iran were lifted in January as part of a nuclear deal it reached with world powers. U.S. measures, though, remain in place with a ban on dollar trading as well as a freeze on U.S. banks engaging in trade.

Non-U.S. banks and insurers remain wary of processing transactions with Iran, fearing they may still fall foul of the existing measures and a lack of clarity on what they are able to do.

Javid said issues around cash and clearing credit were “quite significant” but that Britain was working with European counterparts and the banking industry to try to remove such issues or provide clarity on how the guidelines work.

“For many firms it’s not actually clear what you can or cannot do according to, let’s say, U.S. rules. That’s why one of the things that as a minimum has to be done quite quickly is to bring some clarity,” he said.