Former UK-Iran Ambassador: Iran must have proper access to international financial system to save nuclear deal

Sir Richard Dalton, former UK Ambassador to Iran, has called for the international community to give Iran fuller access to the international banking and financial systems.

Writing in the November issue of the Asian Affairs Journal, Dalton stated that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between Iran and the international community in July 2015 over Iran’s nuclear programme would be threatened by the “generally slow pick-up in economic activity and the slow appearance of Western trade and investment” in Iran. Iran’s recovery, however, had been made difficult by the failure of western powers to provide proper access to the banking system for businesses dealing with Iran.

Dalton observed that the JCPOA contained clauses which required the international community to facilitate Iran’s access to the world financial system. However, he stated that if the western powers failed to take more effective action by the end of the year “it will be impossible for the US and its partners to argue credibly that they are not in breach of the JCPOA.” He also warned that the Iranian President, Mr Rouhani, could be undermined in the 2017 elections if progress was not made in this field.

In a wide-ranging article including the history of the JCPOA and a discussion of Iran’s current political and economic situation, Dalton stated that it was in the overwhelming interest of Iran to comply with the JCPOA, and that it would not be the first to renege on the deal. He predicted that the nuclear deal would endure, but only if all parties to the agreement put in sufficient political support to preserve it.