Ger­man FM: EU clar­i­fy­ing ‘fi­nal re­quire­ments’ for Iran trade chan­nel

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Heiko Maas said the Eu­ro­pean Union is “clar­i­fy­ing the fi­nal re­quire­ments” for a pay­ment mech­a­nism aimed at fa­cil­i­tat­ing non-dol­lar trade with Iran to cir­cum­vent US sanc­tions.

“We are work­ing ur­gently to clar­ify the fi­nal re­quire­ments – such as de­ter­min­ing the coun­try where the mech­a­nism will be head­quar­tered,” Maas told Der Spiegel on Fri­day.

The EU wanted a special pur­pose ve­hi­cle (SPV) to help pre­serve the eco­nomic ben­e­fits for Iran de­riv­ing from the curbs Tehran placed on its nu­clear pro­gram un­der a 2015 deal with world pow­ers. In May 2018, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with­drew the United States from it and re­in­stated sanc­tions on Iran.

“That isn’t easy in a con­fronta­tive sit­u­a­tion with the US be­cause it is, of course, try­ing to ex­ert pres­sure,” Maas said.

EU diplomats had hoped to have the SPV in place last year but ran into de­lays as mem­ber states balked at host­ing it for fear of be­ing tar­geted by the re­vived US sanc­tions regime against Iran.

Maas, how­ever, ex­pressed hope that the EU “will be able to fi­nal­ize the pay­ment chan­nel in the com­ing weeks.”

The SPV is a virtual clear­ing house which the Eu­ro­peans have been work­ing on for months to process Iran-re­lated trans­ac­tions in­de­pen­dent of the US, but the mech­a­nism has yet to see the light of the day.

So far, the Eu­ro­peans have failed twice to ful­fill their prom­ises to get the sys­tem up and run­ning.

EU for­eign pol­icy chief Fed­er­ica Mogherini said on Fri­day the US can­not im­pose its poli­cies on the 28-na­tion bloc’s “le­git­i­mate trade” re­la­tions with Iran.

“We Eu­ro­peans can­not ac­cept that a for­eign power – even our clos­est friend and ally – makes de­ci­sions over our le­git­i­mate trade with an­other coun­try,” Mogherini said.

She added that the EU is work­ing with the rest of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to keep alive the land­mark nu­clear agree­ment, of­fi­cially known as the JCPOA, de­spite the US uni­lat­eral with­drawal from the deal.

The Iran nu­clear deal “has so far been im­ple­mented in full, as cer­ti­fied by the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency in 13 con­sec­u­tive re­ports,” she said.

A re­port by the IAEA said in Novem­ber that Iran has con­tin­ued to im­ple­ment all its com­mit­ments un­der the 2015 nu­clear deal even as the United States reim­posed fresh sanc­tions against Tehran.

Reuters and Press TV con­trib­uted to this story.


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