• Austria's news in English
Iran sanctions 'to be lifted'
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: EPA/T. MUGHAL

Iran sanctions 'to be lifted'

The Local/AFP · 29 Mar 2016, 15:06

Published: 29 Mar 2016 15:06 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Iran's historic agreement with world powers went into force on January 16, ending a 13-year standoff over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme and lifting punishing sanctions on its economy.

But more than two months later Iran is still struggling to make business with the West and banks are facing restrictions in the United States on handling transactions involving the Islamic republic.

"Austria alone cannot lift the sanctions. The EU cannot do it alone too, but it's the international community that should do it," Fischer said, in comments published late Monday by IRIB.

"The US also plays a role in this regard," said the Austrian president.

He was replying to a question about problems facing Iranian banks who wish to use the international payments system SWIFT allowing the resumption of foreign transfers.

Some banks in Iran have been able to reconnect to SWIFT since the lifting of sanctions was announced in January.

But banks accused of links to the country's elite Revolutionary Guards remain under US sanctions.

Last week a senior US State Department official said foreign banks looking to deal with Iran following the lifting of sanctions must avoid engaging with entities that remain subject to a US embargo.

Fischer, speaking ahead of a two-day state visit to Austria by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that begins on Wednesday, said the process of lifting sanctions on Iran had "started".

He added however: "I cannot make any predictions on how much longer it will take" before all sanctions are lifted.

"But I hope that all sides will remain committed to the nuclear deal so that all of Iran's sanctions are lifted in due and scheduled time," Fischer added.

Story continues below…

Last week Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States of failing to respect the nuclear deal and that Washington's allies are afraid of dealing with Iran.

Washington has lifted sanctions "on paper", Khamenei said on March 20, "but they are using roundabout paths to prevent the Islamic republic from achieving its targets".

In Western countries which are under the "influence" of Washington, "banking transactions come up against problems," he added.

A protest is planned by opponents of the regime and Iranian exiles in Vienna, who plan to gather at Stephansplatz at noon on Wednesday.

Spokesman Shahin Gobadi of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said:  "Welcoming Rouhani and other leaders of this regime will encourage them in the violation of human rights in Iran, as well as in the export of terrorism, fundamentalism and warmongering in the region and the world."
"Any relations with this regime should be preconditioned to the annulment of the death penalty in Iran and this regime’s interference in the region."
"Rouhani has always been among the highest ranking officials of this regime and should face justice along with other leaders of this regime for crimes against humanity. He is no different from other regime leaders as far as suppression and export of terrorism is concerned."

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/AFP (news.austria@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

Baumgartner 'failed to mention Red Bull' before jumping to Earth
Felix Baumgartner. Photo: Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner has been accused of cheating his Red Bull sponsors after he failed to mention the energy drink just before he jumped to Earth.

Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available