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Iran is gradually restoring banking links with the rest of the world by forging ties with smaller foreign institutions, even though large global banks are still holding back because of legal risks, Iranian officials and foreign bankers say.Giovanni Castellaneta, chairman of Italy's export credit agency SACE, told Reuters that some small European banks without business ties to the U.S. had begun doing transactions with Iran to support trade.EIH has also been providing letters of credit of between 180 and 360 days with deferred payment for business with Iran and other banking services between Iran and Europe, the spokesman said.Mediobanca, which has commercial ties with Iran dating back to 1952 and an office in Tehran, is looking at opportunities in Iran including the privatization of companies, investment into and out of Iran, and lending and debt capital market activity, a source close to the bank told Reuters.Oman's Bank Muscat is another institution doing business with Iran, the Iranian central bank said.Banks view U.S. dollar business with Iran as particularly risky because the remaining U.S. sanctions prohibit trade with Iran in dollars and Iranian access to New York's financial system.
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