The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday the EU will create an alternative payment channel in the nearest future to facilitate financial transactions between the EU and Iran to bypass US sanctions.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussel, Mogherini said the EU’s financial mechanism for Iran is expected to go operational in coming weeks in order to keep legitimate trade with Tehran.
The EU’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) would act as a clearing house that could be used to help match Iranian oil and gas exports to purchases of EU goods, circumventing US sanctions which are based on the global use of the dollar for oil trading.
France and Germany are to take joint responsibility for the EU-Iran trade mechanism to minimize the risk of US punishment.
France, Germany and Britain – European signatories to world powers’ nuclear deal with Iran – have scrambled to come up with measures to preserve its economic benefits for Tehran after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord in May and restored sanctions on Iran.
Mogherini, speaking after an EU foreign minister’s meeting, stressed the bloc’s commandment that Iran should benefit from the lifting of sanctions under the nuclear deal.
She said the UN nuclear agency, which monitors Iran’s implementation of the accord, has confirmed in 13 reports that the country has lived up to its terms of agreement.
Before the meeting, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the EU wants to keep the nuclear deal in place by ensuring continued trade with Iran.
"We don't want Iran to use enriched uranium for military purposes and we believe we can achieve that only with the upholding of the nuclear deal. This is why we want to facilitate steps toward allowing payments and economic activity in Iran," Maas said on Monday.
Iran has denied his nuclear program has any military dimension, saying it needs the nuclear energy to meet its growing energy consumption.