Austrian President Heinz Fischer has said it is unclear how long it will take for the West to lift sanctions on Iran, in an interview with Iran’s state television news agency IRIB.
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.