Morocco Warns Banks to Stop Trade with Iran

Rabat – The Moroccan government has warned representatives in the country’s financial and business sectors against trade with Iran.In a letter to the Consortium of Moroccan Banks (GPBM), Morocco’s minister of foreign affairs, Nasser Bourita, instructed the kingdom’s banks to “take all necessary measures” to avoid the political repercussions that may result from trading with Iran, L’Economiste reported on August 9.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Moroccan banking and financial conglomerates against engaging in trade with Iran, including transactions or deals in the automobile and aviation sectors, the purchase of raw materials, and the acquisition of Iranian carpets. The instruction, in line with Washington’s policy, also targets all financial transactions between Moroccan firms and their Iranian counterparts.On Tuesday, August 7, a US-imposed blanket of economic sanctions hit the Iranian regime. The punitive measures, a follow-up to the US decision in early May to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, restrict Iranian access to US currency, gold, and other precious materials. The US will also sanction companies in third countries, such as Morocco, from trading both with Iran and the US.The sanctions also concern Tehran’s automobile and aviation sector, with tougher sanctions—especially an embargo on Iran’s oil and banking sectors—to follow by November 4 should the Islamic Republic fail to accommodate President Trump’s terms on “WORLD PEACE.” President Trump warned US partners and the rest of the international community against trading with Iran. “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” Trump tweeted.In addition to avoiding economic and political backlash from the US, however, Morocco’s move to halt trade with Iran comes amid months of sour bilateral terms between Tehran and Rabat. While Washington was busy exiting the Iran nuclear deal in early May, Rabat had its own issues with the Islamic Republic. On May 1, the kingdom severed diplomatic ties with Tehran over the latter’s support for the Polisario Front, the separatist group advocating for independence in Western Sahara.

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