A British official has announced that work is under way to find the best ways of carrying out transactions with Iran as London seeks to expand trade ties with Middle Eastern countries to boost its position in divorce talks with the European Union.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said on Wednesday that his department had commissioned a report on how Britain can normalize "effective payment channels" with Iran.
Fox, who was speaking to a parliamentary committee, said findings of the report are due to be released at the end of March.
Britain is to begin the process for leaving the EU this month as the government of Prime Minister Theresa May tries to strengthen its hands in talks with the bloc through expanding trade relations with countries outside the EU.
Officials in Brussels have vowed that negotiations on Brexit would not be easy and London may be kicked out of the EU’s single market if it insists on rejecting the main EU principles, including freedom of movement for EU citizens.
London’s efforts for normalizing trade with Iran come against the backdrop of restrictions that still exist in banking and financial relations between Tehran and the West.
The restrictions were expected to ease following a historic nuclear deal between Iran and six major world powers in July 2015. However, banks in Europe are still fearful of heavy fines that could be imposed by the United States over a series of other sanctions that Washington has imposed on Iran.
Britain and Iran exchanged top diplomats three years ago to resume diplomatic ties that were severed following a row in the summer of 2011.