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Why Obama should move to shore up Iran nuclear deal

While efforts have been made to facilitate Iran’s reconnection with the international banking system, much remains to be done.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) listens as U.S. President Barack Obama meets with a group of veterans and Gold Star Mothers to discuss the Iran nuclear deal at the White House in Washington September 10, 2015. Gold Star Mothers are an organisation of mothers whose children have died while serving the U.S. in war or times of conflict.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  - RTSIA0

One of the biggest problems Iran has faced in the aftermath of the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is its lack of access to the greenback, as dollar transactions would require the involvement of American banks. Tehran said this has also affected non-dollar business and trade dealings. Given that most international trade is conducted in US dollars, Iran has even experienced some issues with accessing its own foreign exchange reserves and revenues generated by oil sales. Referring to the latter, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Valiollah Seif told The Guardian May 20, “If we want to exchange Omani rials to euros, we don’t need dollars, but the system is designed in a way that it [Omani rial] has to be changed to dollars first, then euros. They should find a way for us to resolve this issue.”

After extended wrangling, the US government last month finally gave Iran limited access to dollars. On Oct. 7, the Treasury amended its Lifting of Sanctions Guidance (“Guidance”) by incorporating a series of new questions and answers (Q&A), including some directly relating to the lifting of financial and banking-related sanctions.

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