Nov 16, 2018 08:38 Asia/Tehran
  • US warns European banks not to defy Iran sanctions

European banks and firms will be at risk from newly reimposed US sanctions if they engage in a special European Union initiative to protect trade with Iran, the US special envoy for Iran warned on Thursday.

Iran Press/America: It is "no surprise" that EU efforts to establish a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for non-dollar trade with Iran were floundering over fear in EU capitals that hosting it would incur US punishment, Special Representative Brian Hook said.

The SPV is seen as the lynchpin of European efforts to salvage the nuclear accord, from which US President Donald Trump withdrew in May, calling it flawed in Iran’s favor.

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"European banks and European companies know that we will vigorously enforce sanctions against this brutal and violent regime," he said in a telephone briefing with reporters, Reuters reported.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for the Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araghchi said that the US government is using its currency as a "weapon" to challenge Europe’s national sovereignty.

He made the remark in a meeting, held on Iran-Italy mechanism for political consultation, with Secretary-General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elisabetta Belloni late on Thursday in Italy’s capital Rome and said, “The United States has turned its currency into a "weapon" and is using it to challenge the sovereignty of European nations.”

In his meeting with the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate Vito Rosario Petrocelli of Italy, Araghchi said that Europe needs to take effective steps to maintain Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the US pullout from this international deal.

US special envoy for Iran also released a short video on Twitter, subtitled in Persian, supporting rioters in Iran and said Washington is tracking these protests very closely like it did before. 

This video released while Hook was in Israel on Thursday and met with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu thanked US President Donald Trump for reimposing the second batch of sanctions on Iran earlier the month.

Hook for his part said reimposing the sanctions is a way to toughen the US moves against Iran. Hook commend Netanyahu as "a fantastic and committed partner" in the campaign against Iran.

The United States is involved in “an ongoing operation” that seeks to interfere in domestic operations and to stir up riots inside Iran because ever since the Islamic Revolution, Washington has been seeking to turn the country into a “vassal state” as it was before Revolution.

The administration of US President Donald Trump is using the economy as a “weapon” to destabilize the country.

The former New York mayor and White House cyber security adviser, Rudy Giuliani told an anti-Iran event on September that Trump’s policy of economic pressure and sanctions against Tehran could spur on a regime change.

speaking at a meeting of heads of the three branches of government in Tehran on Saturday, president Hassan Rouhani said: "The US government is trying to affect the lives and livelihoods of Iranian people negatively."

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Rouhani previously described US unilateral sanctions as a from of economic terrorism.

Addressing world leaders at the 73rd UN general assembly meeting on September Rouhani said, “Unlawful unilateral sanctions in themselves constitute a form of economic terrorism and a breach of the ‘Right to Development.’ The economic war that the United States has initiated under the rubric of new sanctions not only targets the Iranian people but also entails harmful repercussions for the people of other countries, and that war has caused a disruption in the state of global trade.”

US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the nuclear agreement in May and reintroduced the first round of sanctions on Iran in August.

The second round of sanctions, including against the Iranian oil industry, came into effect on November 5. 101

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