(AP/Michel Euler)
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s foreign minister has appealed to the United States to refrain from “retribution” against European banks that want to do business with his country as it opens up to global trade ties.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States should “do far more … (and) provide assurances to the banks that this will not take place.”

Zarif was speaking Tuesday during a news conference in Helsinki with Finnish counterpart Timo Soini at the start of a regional tour of Finland, Sweden and Latvia.

Earlier this month, European financiers complained to US Secretary of State John Kerry during a visit to London they fear that doing business in the Islamic Republic would trigger US sanctions.

While the US did lift some of the sanctions on Iran in wake of the nuclear deal signed with it last July, other sanctions on Iran were placed due to its support of global terrorism and continuing human rights violations.

Similarly, in April, the European Union (EU) announced it had extended sanctions against 82 Iranian officials until 2017 because of the Islamic Republic’s abysmal human rights violations record.

The 28-nation bloc has had asset freezes and travel bans in place against Iranians since 2011 because of violations of human rights.

EU restrictive measures were adopted as part of an integrated policy approach combining pressure and engagement to persuade Iran to comply with its international obligations.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff