EU-Iran Special Trade Mechanism ‘About to Become Operational’

Friday, 18 January, 2019 - 08:00
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

A European Union official has reportedly said that a trade mechanism meant to circumvent reimposed US sanctions on Tehran is ready to be activated.

The official news agency IRNA quoted an "EU spokesperson" as saying on Thursday that the Special Purpose Vehicle (SVP) for trade with Iran "is about to become operational."

IRNA also quoted the anonymous spokesperson as saying that the "EU has firm solutions for saving the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)," the official name for the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which US President Donald Trump withdrew from in May last year.

"The SPV is currently at the last stages before becoming operational," said the alleged source, adding, "We have updated the European Investment Bank's regulations, and European parties to the JCPOA, France, Germany and the UK are committed to preserve effective financial transactions with Iran especially via the SPV."

The EU hopes its SPV announced in September will keep the nuclear deal alive and persuade Tehran to stay on board by giving companies a way of trading with Iran without fear of US sanctions that were reimposed last year.

The alleged spokesperson's remarks came after France on Wednesday condemned a failed Iranian satellite launch that it said used technology applicable to long-range missiles, hours after the United States accused Tehran of posing a missile threat.

Iran's telecommunications minister said the country successfully launched the Payam satellite but that it failed to be placed into orbit.

The European Union has not issued a statement regarding the launch.

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