Georgian financial institutions, together with the European and US banks, are waiting for the restoration of financial transactions with Iran.
Despite the fact that the political decision on this issue has already been made, there are still technical problems – transactions with Iranian banks are still impossible both in Europe and America as well as in Georgia.
Despite the fact that Georgia did not officially join the sanctions against Iran, some time is still needed to restore normal banking relationships.
According to Zurab Gvasalia, the President of the Association of Banks of Georgia, Georgian banks must receive a directive from the government on the lifting of sanctions after which transactions will be restored in 2-3 days.
“Directives should be given by the public authority, which announced the sanctions. The banks will need to perform certain activities within their system that will take 2-3 days. If the EU decides to reconnect the Iranian banks to SWIFT international payment system, the transactions will be carried out without any problem. With regard to correspondent accounts, in this case it depends on banks themselves. At the same time there are many banks intermediaries through which you can transfer funds to Iranian legal or natural persons without any problems,” says the banker.
According to the Ministry of Justice, to lift the sanctions, certain procedures must be performed.
“When the United Nations decides to lift the sanctions on specific individuals or organizations, a notification will be sent in this regard to the countries cooperating with the United Nations, including Georgia,” say in the Ministry.
Chairman of the Georgian-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Vano Mtvralashvili says if the Georgian side, especially the banking sector, doesn’t lift restrictions on time, major investments from Iran to Georgia will continue to be impossible. When it comes to Iran, as an investor, the bank transfers still remain the main problem as the Iranian businessmen are not able to invest in Georgia. Large investments from Iran can’t be carried out in our country because the state capital can’t use the services of banks. While, all large investment groups, including banks, are associated with the state in Iran,” he notes.
In his words, the European banks will remove restrictions from Iran from day to day and Georgian banks also should not delay the procedure. Mtvralashvili adds that the restoration of the transactions between the Georgian and Iranian banks will take not more than 1,5 months.