British Iranian Chamber of Commerce rejects reports it has closed down for good

The joint chamber of commerce between the UK and Iran says its has only closed its London office in a bid to reduce costs and that all activities will be held online.

26 May 2019
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The joint chamber of commerce between the UK and Iran says its has only closed its London office in a bid to reduce costs and that all activities will be held online.

British Iranian Chamber of Commerce (BICC) President Lord Lamont poses for a picture with Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad. BRITISH IRANIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce president has rejected news the chamber has closed for good, saying it keeps operating as usual and that its London office has been closed to cut down on costs.

“We are just trying to reduce the costs, so the meetings will be held at the members’ own offices, but this doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped our activities, we will firmly continue our job,” Lord Lamont of Lerwick, the British Iranian Chamber of Commerce (BICC) President was cited as saying by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Sunday.

He was reacting to reports published by the BBC Persian that the joint chamber of commerce has shut down its London office due to the US unilateral sanctions as well as a reduction in number of its members.

“The report is incorrect,” he said in reaction to the report, adding that the BICC hasn’t issued a declaration and that no email has been sent to the members. “The BBC Persian has had a wrong understanding of the situation,” Lamont stressed.

Iran’s Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad has also criticised the news report, calling it “confused and targeted”.  

“The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce was for months considering options to reduce its costs and finally decided to implement a new plan that converts the chamber from a physical place to an online digital platform and leases its conference halls to make up for its costs,” wrote Baeidinejad in his Telegram channel.

The Iranian envoy stressed that “these changes” don’t mean “the chamber has closed” but that “it has used modern technologies to manage the costs”.

“The BICC board members, presided by Lord Lamont, all maintain their posts and the chamber continues its usual activities without any change,” he wrote.

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