Australian Ambassador to Iran Ian Biggs noted that in the past, Iran was among key trade partners for Australia in the Middle East region but in recent years and due to some economic sanctions these relations faded, so that following the toughening of economic sanctions in 2010, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) closed in Iran, but improved once again after the implementation of the historic nuclear deal, which persuaded Australian companies reopened in Iran to boost economic cooperation with Iran and at that time Austrade in the year 2016 .
Ian Biggs, while expressing content over the rise in Iran-Australia ties during post-sanctions era, said the principle barrier is the difficulty of financial transactions, which may discourage people. "We need to work closely together to make sure that this is all simplified and released as soon as possible," he told Mehr News.
What do you think of relations between Iran and Australia and what we can do to increase the cooperation between the two countries in different fields, especially in economy and trade?
Thank you for the opportunity you provided for me to talk about the relations between Australia and Iran, because it is the most interesting subject in the world for me at the moment. They are going very well. With the sign and implementation of JCPOA and the lifting of sanctions and easing of relations between Iran and the whole international community, including Australia, we had the chance do much more than what was possible before. So we had the trade commission, we had several ministers visiting Iran, including foreign minister and the trade minister and some of the state ministers. And just this week, we had a great visits for the Australia-Iran dialogue, including the former foreign minister and several significant scholars in the Iranian field. That was well because when we get together, we discover that we have many of the same interests.
There are lots of Iranian communities in Australia they hope to bring us together, many students many immigrants many people who are very happy to have business occurring between the two countries. So what we can do is to keep those things open, to use the trade commissions, to work through Iran-Australia chamber of commerce, and to take advantage of the friendliness of the Iranian people and also Iranian officials.
What are the obstacles on the way to increase ties between Iran and Australia according to your experience in Iran?
The principle barrier is the difficulty of financial transactions. There are not many banks to take investment capitals into Iran or to repay the profits out of Iran and that makes it hard. Most companies which want to work here can find a way but that is difficult and that discourages people and in the other areas there are still many other international sanctions by UN that have not been lifted yet. We need to work closely together to make sure that this is all simplified and released as soon as possible.