Chairman of Iran-Japan Joint Committee of Commerce says the non-oil trade between Iran and Japan is around $300m despite a good and historic relation between the two countries.
Speaking to ILNA, Bahram Shakouri said that the amount of Iran’s frozen money in Japan is estimated between 2 to 5 billion dollars but one cannot have a precise figure of the blocked money and the oil ministry should answer to it, but he believes around 2 to 3 billion dollars of Iran has been blocked in Japan.
On the latest condition of Iran-Japan trade, he said most of Iran’s frozen money in Japan is related to the oil sales and Iran has been unable to get its money back due to sanctions and rejecting the FATF. He said in fact the FATF has caused the problem in transfer of money and therefore the FATF has been effective in blocking Iran’s money.
Shakouri reiterated that even if the sanctions are lifted tomorrow, Iran cannot have banking transactions as long as the country does not obey the FATF rules.
He said refusing to join the FATF has put pressure on the private sector as the country has seen it obviously during the payment for one of the famous football coaches, and the private sector rushed to help in this case.
"Some believe sanctions have not had great impacts but the truth is that they have been very effective and they have hit the private sector so that the private sector activists face problem for opening LCs."
He went on to say that the country should work on restoring ties with the world in a proper manner and it should resolve the problem of the FATF because the FATF is nothing but transparency and if the domestic laws seek transparency, then they should join the FATF.
On the trade ties with Japan, Shakouri said Japan and South Korea have no problem for trade with Iran but since major Japanese and Korean companies do business with the U.S., they refrain from cooperating with Iran due to sanctions.
He said due to sanctions, Iran’s non-oil trade with Japan has slumped significantly, and petrochemical industries, shrimp, fruit and dried fruits are the major exports of Iran to Japan. He reiterated that the total non-oil trade of Iran and Japan does not touch $1b and it is estimated even around $300m.