Obama says will ‘take time’ for Iran to rejoin global economy

A money changer poses for the camera with a US hundred dollar bill (R) and the amount being given when converting it into Iranian rials (L), at a currency exchange shop in Tehran's business district, Iran, January 20, 2016. (Reuters)

US President Barack Obama said on Friday it will take time for Iran to rejoin the global economy, as the country’s leadership and citizens express unease that a sanctions windfall has been slow to materialize.

“It will take time for Iran to reintegrate into the global economy, but Iran is already beginning to see the benefit of this deal,” Obama said at a meeting of world powers in Washington.

The international community lifted a raft of sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country curbing its controversial nuclear program.

Earlier this month, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Washington of failing to respect the terms of the agreement.

The United States has lifted sanctions “on paper,” he said, “but they are using roundabout paths to prevent the Islamic Republic from achieving its targets.”

“They have said they lifted the sanctions... but, in fact, they are working to prevent the lifting of sanctions from taking effect,” he said.

The limited polls that are conducted in Iran also show skepticism about the country’s economic situation following decades of sanctions.

A host of non-nuclear sanctions related to terrorism sponsorship, ballistic missile programs and a crackdown on demonstrators remain in place.

According to a CISSM and IranPoll.com survey released Thursday Iranians have a less favorable impression of the country’s economic situation now than they did before the deal came into effect in January.

While a majority of those polled back deeper economic engagement with the West, almost 70 percent do not believe the United States will meet its promises under the agreement.

Earlier this week, the United States appeared to take further steps toward ending Iran’s economic isolation, laying the groundwork to let Iran begin trading in dollars.

The move would remove restrictions on foreign firms doing dollar deals with Iran.

Officials say that even with sanctions lifted, US and other non-Iranian companies have been reluctant to do business with Iran for fear of getting tangled in a thicket of US regulations.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47