At a summit in Brussels on Friday, the leaders underlined their "collective support" for the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying that it "is working and delivering on its goal," AP reported.
US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany.
Trump's move resulted in US sanctions being imposed on Iran. Those measures also affect companies doing business in Iran, but the Europeans are trying to keep financial supplies open to the country.
On Thursday, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the 28-member block is “working on the concert establishment” of its plan to set up a way to preserve business with Iran and avoid renewed US sanctions, according to Tasnim News Agency.
“This (the payment system) is something that we have presented during the (United Nations) General Assembly ministerial week in New York. The member states of the European Union have decided to put this system in place, so they are now working on the concrete establishment of this. I am confident that they will continue this work in a successful manner in the coming weeks,” Mogherini said, the EU’s official website reported.
“I have to say that our partners from Asia have always shown a lot of interest in working to keep the full implementation of the JCPOA; obviously for security reasons that also concern Asia and Central Asia,” she added.
“But we tend to forget that Iran is not only a Middle Eastern country; it is also a country that have long borders with Afghanistan for instance, and that has many interests and links with Asia. I have always very much seen the interest and also exactly the same position that we have with our Asian partners on the need to maintain the JCPOA and on the need for Iran to stick to the full compliance to the nuclear commitments taken,” Mogherini said.
Following a ministerial meeting on September 24 in New York, the participants welcomed an EU initiative to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports (including oil) and imports.