The Iran nuclear deal may have been reached two months ago, but economic sanctions against the Middle Eastern country are likely to remain in place until February or March next year, the boss of a multinational commodity trader has warned.
At the Kazenergy forum in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan's capital, Vitol chief executive Ian Roper Taylor said lifting sanctions was going to be a “long process” and that it was “difficult to predict when that process will be over”.
He told the conference: “I don't expect that to be over until the end of the first quarter, realistically. I know the Iranians are a little more optimistic. I can't see that happening until February or March.
The bit about sanctions that people are maybe not focusing on is when will the banks be able to transfer funds in and out – obviously for any transaction that's a very important part of the transaction.
After years of negotiations, an agreement was struck on 14 July between Iran and the P5+1 nations, which include the UK, US and France.
In return for Iran carrying out a series of measures to curb its uranium enrichment programme, the group of six major world powers have agreed to lift the sanctions that have crippled Tehran's economy.
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But before they are removed, it is part of the agreement that Iran must first prove that it is significantly scaling back its nuclear activities. Its attempts to do so will be monitored closely over the coming months.