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                                        Volume. 11982

Iran still unable to sell petrochemicals to EU, top official says
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TEHRAN (WSJ) — Iran is still unable to sell its petrochemicals to the European Union despite the lifting of a ban to export such products, a top official in Tehran said.
 
At a news conference on the sidelines of an oil conference here, Abbas Shea'ri Moghaddam, Iran's deputy oil minister for petrochemicals, said "nothing has changed compared with last year" in terms of petrochemical sales to the EU.
 
As part of an interim agreement between Iran and six world powers that came into force on Jan 20, Tehran is now allowed to export petrochemicals to EU members.
 
But Mr. Moghaddam said such sales remain impossible because of problems with payment transfers and tanker insurance.
 
Despite a partial easing of sanctions, banks in Europe typically refuse to handle Iranian trades because they fear legal issues in the U.S. And despite the end of a ban on Iranian oil tanker insurance, insurers have declined to cover Iranian voyages because of a lack of clarity on handling compensation.
 
At a news conference at the same event on Wednesday, Iran's vice president for legal affairs Elham Aminzadeh said "some sanctions have been lifted. But problems continue."
 
"There are no sanctions on medicine but there are problems transferring payments" to buy them, she said.
 
"We are negotiating on this issue with the 5+1 [group of world powers,]" Mrs. Aminzadeh said.

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