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Iran Signs Finance Deals With Two European Banks

Central Bank headquarters in Tehran.
Central Bank headquarters in Tehran.

Iran’s Central Bank announced on Thursday that several Iranian banks had signed two separate finance deals with an Austrian and a Danish Bank.

The Austrian Oberbank and the Danish Danske Bank would finance private and public projects in Iran worth one billion, and 500 million euros respectively, the report added. A total of 14 Iranian banks were reportedly involved in the deals.

Oberbank is Austria’s seventh-biggest bank and Danske Bank is the largest bank in Denmark.

‌Representatives of both banks confirmed the news about the deal in interviews with Radio Farda, however, Helmut Edlbauer, Oberbank’s General Manager for Global Financial Markets said that the amount of the credit was not determined and depended on the export volume by Austrian companies.

According to Edlbauer, the purpose of the agreement was to support "important strategic projects in Iran" related to railroads, hydroelectric power plants, clean power energy, health, and engineering and to assist Austrian exporters with entering the Iranian market.

Some of the financing will take the form of letters of credit to facilitate trade.

The deals are significant for Iran because, despite the nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015, many western companies, particularly the financial institutions have refrained from cooperating with Tehran due to unilateral U.S. sanctions against Tehran. This fact has given the Iranian conservatives led by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a reason to criticize the nuclear deal at several occasions.