TEHRAN, Iran – Iran says it is working on a plan to establish a joint bank with Azerbaijan and that the idea will be raised during a meeting between top economic officials of the two countries in less than a day.
Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pakayeen has told Trend news agency that Elman Rustamov, the chairman of Azerbaijan’s Central Bank (CBA), is due in Tehran on 16 May to discuss the matter with Iran’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia.
Pakayeen added that Rustamov and Tayyebnia will also talk about the ways to promote bilateral cooperation over banking issues between the two countries.
Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi had told Trend last August that Iran and Azerbaijan are considering a plan to establish a joint bank.
Vaezi, who is also the co-chairman of the Iran-Azerbaijan intergovernmental commission, had also emphasized that the two neighbors are also discussing the opening of branches of the two countries’ banks in Baku and Tehran.
He had added that a number of Iran’s private banks are interested in entering Azerbaijan’s banking market.
The Iranian minister said the main obstacle on the way of banking cooperation between Tehran and Baku is the existing sanctions against Iran’s financial sector, which do not allow cooperation between the two countries’ banks to reach an appropriate level.
“There is a branch of Bank Melli Iran in Azerbaijan, but it is not active,” Vaezi noted, adding that preliminary talks on the expansion of banking cooperation between the two countries have been already held and the existing problems are expected to be solved soon.