EU to launch financial mechanism with Iran by year-end

The move is aimed at bypassing the US sanctions against Teheran and save the nuclear deal

Photo: EPA EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini

The European Union will establish a mechanism to facilitate non-dollar transactions with Iran in the near future in an attempt to circumvent sanctions imposed by the United States against Tehran, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini announced.

"I will expect this instrument to be established in the coming weeks before the end of the year as a way to protect and promote legitimate business,” Mogherini told reporters in Brussels on Monday.
The top EU diplomat did not offer any other details following a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers in Brussels, but said work on creating the mechanism was "advancing well."

Under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and six major powers - the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - Tehran agreed to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions. Early in November, however, the Trump administration announced he would re-impose the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country's oil sales and crucial exports. With this move the US administration hoped to get the other parties to the deal with Iran to likewise scrap the deal, but instead, they stressed that not only would they stick to the agreement, but they would also work to sustain it in the face of increased US pressure.

In a result, Iran and the 28-nation bloc have been discussing various ways to continue doing business with Iran and bypass US sanctions. Thus, they decided to introduce the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to help preserve the economic benefits for Iran deriving from the curbs it placed on its nuclear program under a 2015 deal. EU diplomats had hoped to have the SPV in place by now but ran into delays as member states balked at hosting it for fear of being targeted by the revived US sanctions regime against Iran.

Late in November, however, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi warned that Tehran's patience is running out over the failure of the European Union's economic pledges to deliver any "tangible results." He said the EU's efforts were encouraging but added: "We have not yet seen any tangible results."

"So, they [Europeans] are promising us that they are doing their best to be able to translate all that they have said in political terms and to turn it into realization, in other words, to materialize what they have said," Salehi said.

Similar articles

  • High-level policy roundtable designs Europe that matters

    High-level policy roundtable designs Europe that matters

    Poll: 60% of Europeans aren't sure they would miss the EU if it were gone

    At a time when Europe is embarking on a new ambition to tackle a myriad of challenges it is facing at home and abroad, the citizens said that their enthusiasm for the EU is not flourishing, but on the contrary - it is withering. The latest poll of EU citizens, commissioned by the Brussels-based think tank Friends of Europe, throws light on what Europeans want from the EU, with regard to the priorities, tackling inequalities and having a bigger say. 

    12
  • Air pollution in Europe causes hundreds of thousands premature deaths

    Air pollution in Europe causes hundreds of thousands premature deaths

    Poor air across Europe caused up to 412,000 premature deaths in 2016, according to an EU report released last Wednesday. According to the European Environmental Agency, city dwellers across the continent are at risk of life-threatening air pollution, and Member States should take rapid action to tackle the issue. The report cited WHO figures that pointed at heart disease and stroke as the most common reasons for premature death due to air pollution, followed by lung diseases and lung cancer.

    8
  • Labour Authority starts working

    Labour Authority starts working

    The new agency will make cross-border business activities get smoother

    The European Labour Authority officially started its activities last Wednesday with an inaugural ceremony and the first meeting of its Management Board, the EU press service reported. The launch took place two years after EC President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the idea in his 2017 State of the Union address. The opening ceremony was held in Brussels with the participation of President Juncker, Slovakia's PM Peter Pellegrini, given the fact that namely Slovakia will host the new agency, Commission VPs Valdis Dombrovskis and Maros Sefcovic, Labour Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, etc.

    16