Iran and Turkey sign banking protocol as relations thaw

Iran and Turkey have signed a new banking protocol to develop relations between the financial sectors of the two countries.

The protocol was signed in the first session of the Iran-Turkey Joint Banking Committee by the head of the international relations department of Iran’s Central Bank, Hasan Yagubi, and the Deputy President of Turkey’s Central Bank, Mehmet Taskesen.

In the meeting, the sides agreed to eliminate the problems in the banking field between the two countries, allowing business to be conducted in local currencies and enhancing the mutual compatibility of bank cards. At the end of the meeting a protocol was signed in which the joint committee is set to meet every three months; the next meeting will be held in Turkey in March.

Relations between the two countries had been strained in recent times when regional tensions threatened to boil over on several occasions as both backed opposing sides in the Syrian war. However, Iran showed immediate solidarity with the Turkish government after the failed coup attempt on 15 July last year. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to Ankara on 12 August, 2015, is credited with opening a new chapter in relations between the two countries which hit a new height when the countries came together, along with Russia, to organise the Astana talks for a solution to the Syrian war.