'EU's Stance Will Be Decisive': How Iran Sanctions Affect German Banks

© AP Photo / Michael ProbstDeutsche Bank headquarters
Deutsche Bank headquarters - Sputnik International
After the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and its decision to re-impose sanctions, business cooperation with the Islamic Republic is becoming more and more difficult for European firms.

Germany's major financial institutions are avoiding doing business with Iran amid penalties for breaching US sanctions, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported.

For instance, the country's major banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, stopped dealing with Tehran after receiving harsh fines in 2015 over their transactions there, and others may follow the suit.

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However, smaller banks are eager to take advantage of the opportunity and are continuing to cooperate with Iran despite the looming threat of penalties, the media outlet wrote.

"We will continue to serve our clients," Patrizia Melfi, a director at the "international competence center" (KCI) established by six cooperative German savings banks, was quoted by the AFP as saying.

At the same time, the German central bank noted that not much has changed for cooperation with Iran so far.

"Only the European Union's sanctions regime will be decisive," the bank told the news agency, adding that it remains to be seen what decision Brussels is going to make.

Worker repairs a part of a unit of the Tehran oil refinery, in Tehran, Iran. (File) - Sputnik International
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Following Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Tehran, as well as secondary sanctions on countries dealing with it, companies doing business with the country must be cautious not to become subject to US restrictions.

Financial transactions are carried out in euro, and some firms do not work with businesses that have American citizens or green card resident holders among their staff members.

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