By John Lee.
Iran and Azerbaijan are in discussions to set up a joint bank to facilitate financial transactions between the two countries.
Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi (pictured), told Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency that in addition to the joint bank, the countries are also in talks to open branches of the two countries’ banks in Baku and Tehran, adding that a number of private Iranian banks are interested in operating in Azerbaijan.
“Bank Melli Iran has a branch in Azerbaijan, but it is not active [due to the sanctions],” the Minister noted.
Trade between Iran and Azerbaijan is estimated at about $500 million, with the Minister saying that they have set a target “to increase this figure fourfold to $2 billion.”
Iranian funds frozen in Azerbaijani bank accounts are estimated at $200 million.