Jan 28, 2019 08:14 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Sep 18, 2019 15:34 Asia/Tehran]
  • Brussel , EU HQ
    Brussel , EU HQ

UK, France and Germany, reportedly are to present a plan to trade with Iran on Brussel today (Monday 28 Jan 2019).

Iran Press/Europe: The 'Iran's Trade Initiative' to help European company trade with Iran could be presented as early as Monday by UK, France and Germany in Brussel and  EU government envoys will discuss the statement in Brussels and may release it soon, if all 28 member countries agree, Bloomberg quoted EU diplomats as saying.

A draft of an EU statement according two European diplomats who announced it to Bloomberg welcomes the three-nation initiative as providing "a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran."

The 'Iran Trade Initiative' is key to the European Union’s effort to save a 2015 nuclear accord (JCPOA) with Iran after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it and another sign of European exasperation and defying the US president with a bid to bypass US sanctions.

The initiative is designed to shield European companies who want to do business with Iran from US sanctions that could result from dollar-based transactions.

The Trump administration look at European initiative as an attempt to evade its 'maximum pressure' campaign against Iran, while questioning whether it’ll work. The US Treasury’s top sanctions official Sigal Mandelker, said in December she isn’t concerned “at all” that the mechanism can sidestep sanctions.

As envisaged by the EU, the Special Purpose Vehicle would accept payments from companies that want to trade with Iran, either by receiving waivers for oil imports or permissible trade in goods like food and medicine. With no direct transfer of funds between Iran and European actors, it would theoretically insulate firms from US penalties.

Since the US left the nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions on Iran, the deal’s remaining powers -- China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK have struggled to ensure the sanctions relief promised when Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities.

Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said last week his country to resume nuclear enrichment with more advanced technology if the agreement fails.

On Jan 27, 2019, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi urged the EU to speed up the launch of SPV aimed at bypassing US sanctions "before it's too late".

The special purpose vehicle (SPV) is part of the EU’s efforts to encourage Iran to remain in the nuclear deal following the unilateral withdrawal of the US back in May, by offering an alternative payment channel to keep trade flowing with Iran in defiance of US sanctions. 104/205/213


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Iran calls on EU to accelerate setting up SPV before it's too late

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Ghassemi: There is a limit to Iran's patience as far as Europe's SPV mechanism is concerned