Code: 541982 A

The 4th Europe-Iran Forum (EIF) focusing on post-sanctions investment and trade will be launched on Tuesday, October 3, in the north-central Swiss city of Zurich.

The two-day EIF4 will be the first to be held in the tenure of Donald Trump who was elected as new US president on Nov 8, 2016.

Despite the US lack of commitment to the July 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in order to prevent Iran from having benefit of the agreement, the Europeans have expressed their unanimous support for the international agreement and welcomed Tehran's return to the financial markets and trade and banking activities.

The founder of Europe-Iran Forum, which was established four years ago, has recently commented on the EIF4, saying the event is very important for Europe's business community.

In an exclusive interview with on Sept 11, Esfandyar Batmanghelidj said, 'Cooperation is needed among the full range of stakeholders, and the Forum is designed to help support more dialogue, information sharing, and relationship building within the network of business leaders and policymakers working on Iran today.'

The first, second and third EIF were held in October 2014 in London, September 2015 in Geneva and May 2016 in Zurich respectively.

'We see more political willingness to reform key laws and policies in order to create better conditions for foreign investors,' the Swiss news site quoted Batmanghelidj as talking of re-election of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in May 19.

About Iran's economic conditions, the EIF founder said 'Iran has made good progress in its complicated process of financial reform.

'Early this summer, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) chose to continue to suspend Iran's position on its 'black-list'.

'The process remains in its early phase, but Iran's bankers deserve credit for their determination to regain their place in the international financial system.'

The presence of the Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid and a number of European ambassadors to Iran in the EIF4 is another 'clear message' to Trump administration that all sides have to be loyal to the JCPOA and its implementation.

And this message, as experts believe, is sending to the US government at a time President Trump is to announce his decision about Iran's compliance with the international deal and suspension of the sanctions to the US Congress in upcoming days.

In related development, European Union’s Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan said about a week ago “This agreement [JCPOA] is delivering on a very, very important objective, which is to ensure that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.

'The view of the European Union is that this agreement is a success.'

Iran is 'fully living up to its commitments' under the agreement, O’Sullivan noted at the Atlantic Council held in the US last week.

It may be up to the Europeans to save the deal, O’Sullivan said while pointing to the challenges Trump administration has presented to the JCPOA.

Ultimately, O’Sullivan and his German, French and British counterparts 'reiterated their commitment to the agreement,' the website of the Atlantic Council wrote on September 25.

Analysts believe that EIF4, which is held just less than two weeks after Austria's Oberbank and Denmark's Danske Bank signed banking agreements with Iran, will prepare good grounds for the European companies to further cooperate with Iran.

Different companies in the countries of Switzerland, Austria and the states of the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in Northern Europe) have been waiting for cooperating with Iran.

So, the EIF4 can pave the way for the Europeans to build sustainable cooperation between Iran and Europe in the future.


EU-Iran forum post-sanctions investment
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