Iran Pays German Export Debt, Opening Path to Renewed Trade Ties

  • Outstanding German claims were roadblock to deeper links
  • Gabriel calls payment ‘important step’ in economic relations

Iran has paid off outstanding export-credit debt to Germany, paving the way to open renewed trade ties between the two countries after last year’s nuclear agreement scaled back sanctions on Iran.

“This is a further important step to revive our economic relations,” Sigmar Gabriel, German economy minister and vice chancellor, said in a statement on Monday.

Gabriel said the payment will allow Germany to re-establish credit guarantees that support exports to Iran. The Iranian government had declined to fulfill all its credit obligations while it was subject to sanctions, some of which were lifted in January, the ministry said.

Clarifying the outstanding debt was a key element in reestablishing trade links with Iran as German business pushed to increase ties. The Economy Ministry had previously said Iran owed about 500 million euros ($567 million). German export credit guarantees last year supported 25.8 billion euros in exports worldwide.

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