News ID: 236708
Published: 0414 GMT December 31, 2018

Iran rejects reports of EU conditions for establishing SPV

Iran rejects reports of EU conditions for establishing SPV

Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed as “substantially false” reports that the European Union has set conditions for establishing a special payment channel that is supposed to secure its trade commitments under the 2015 nuclear with Tehran.

“Today, no country in the world is unmindful of Iran’s characteristics and everyone knows that Iran won’t allow others to set conditions for it,” Qassemi said.

Iran and the EU have been working on the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for a few months now, following US President Donald Trump’s decision in May to abandon the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Press TV reported.

Since then, the Trump administration has targeted Iran’s oil and other key economic industries by introducing a series of economic sanctions, threatening other JCPOA signatories – the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany-- to end business with Iran or face penalties.

China and Russia have already expressed their commitments to the deal. The SPV is designed to protect European businesses from US financial punishments but progress has been slower than expected.

Qassemi said the hurdles that the SPV was faced with stemmed from “Europe’s inability to cope with the immense US pressure” and ultimately “the complex nature” of the mechanism that makes the process time consuming.

“We think Europe is largely incapable of withstanding the US and its pressure and lacks the required ability to defend its European identity as well as its financial and economic institutions,” he said.

The spokesman stressed that Iran was not relying solely on the SPV and had quietly sought alternative plans with other countries such as China, Russia, India and Turkey.

“Although it has so far failed to meet the deadlines on the SPV, we hope that Europe can keep moving on this path and stay true to its commitments,” he added.

Early in December, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the European Union will establish the financial mechanism in the near future in an attempt to circumvent sanctions imposed by the United States against Tehran.

“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.

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."


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