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December 2016, No. 81


IMIDRO Exclusive

JCPOA Was a Very Great Deal


The question is if the agreement had not been signed, what would be the economic situation of the country today? This is a reality that is overlooked especially in the political field some events are quickly forgotten.”


Dr. Mehdi Karbasian, Managing Director of IMIDRO

A senior Iranian economist says the agreement signed over Iran’s nuclear program last year was a very good deal.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known commonly as Iran deal or Iran nuclear deal, is an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union.

In response to this group of people, Dr. Mehdi Karbasian, Chairman of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) said: “We should admit that JCPOA was a very great deal. The question is if the agreement had not been signed, what would be the economic situation of the country today? This is a reality that is overlooked especially in the political field some events are quickly forgotten.”

Speaking in a press interview, Karbasian added: “This is a historical problem and I believe that although we have a good memory about history, very soon we forget great decisions and everything would lose color.”

Stressing that prior to Iran nuclear deal, even the government itself had to transfer money outside Iran through foreign exchange shops, he noted that the objective transfer of money took place through agents such as Babak Zanjani.

Referring to the fact that during the sanctions many large international companies had cut off their relations with Iran, Karbasian reminded: “In the area of mine and mining industries companies like Rio Tinto and PHP did not even respond to our emails nor would their CEOs travel to Iran for negotiations. Several delegations from Europe and Asia have come to Iran for joint investment, market review and even funding projects and have held talks with Iranian sides.”

The IMIDRO chief added: “Export guarantee funds in Europe and Asia which once had put us in their black list are now providing the conditions to guarantee projects and investments. Guarantee funds such as Sache, Hermes, Kefas, Sanchez, and the funds of South Korea and Japan which once would not even guarantee one dollar, after the trip of President Rouhani and negotiations with them by the IRI Central Bank have started their relationship.”

The deputy minister, stressing that the banks have also solved their problems to some extent, said that now in the area of mine and mining industries best international consultants have been applied in the field of brine and the Salt Lake. This issue in other sectors such as the rare earth elements, titanium, iron ore, gold and steel has led to the arrival of new technologies into the mineral industries which ultimately entail transfer of technology, he said.

He further remarked: “Obviously, some people may have expected early results in the area of economy but we should bear in mind that there was too much and perhaps exaggerated publicity which naturally raised the expectations.”

Karbasian recalling his memories regarding purchase of airplanes under the sanctions said: “Between 2005 and 2009 I was in charge of the Oil Retirement Fund and we decided to purchase two airplanes for one of the oil subsidiary companies, i.e. Oil Aviation Company. However, due to the international sanctions nobody would sell us airplanes. I remember, we finally managed to purchase two airplanes, one of which was Fokker F100, through one of our companies abroad.”

He added: “This difficulty existed for Mahan Aviation Company as well and they made their purchases with difficulty.”

IMIDRO chairman noted that directors with 30 years of work experience will definitely consider the principles of the “resistance economy” and the national economy in their international negotiations. “Fortunately, with the presence of monitoring systems such as the Majlis Research Center and the Inspectorate Organization and other similar supervisory institutions, there is no room for such concerns.”

He said: “Today JCPOA has enabled us to establish relations with the world research institutions and valid international companies for receiving new equipment and modern technologies; for example, the Zarshouran gold mine, was one of the projects which was abandoned under the sanctions and now we exert utmost efforts to raise its output to actual level.”

Referring to the employment of one of the international companies as consultant, Karbasian said: “These consultant companies previously were not ready to speak with us; I am really sorry to say this, but in the first two years of my responsibility in IMIDRO when we intended to hold talks with the consultant companies they would tell us come to Turkey or Dubai. But now, their directors would ask for appointments in order to talk with us. These are the positive points of JCPOA agreement that are overlooked by some.”

He concluded by saying: “True that some people still do not touch the fruits of this agreement and for the same reason the West should accelerate its pace of cooperation.”

 

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  December 2016
No. 81