Gentiloni, the 57th prime minister of Italy who ruled the European nation from December 2016 to June 2018, joined a host of diplomats, scholars and political figures, including Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in India for a multilateral conference dubbed the Raisina Dialogue.
In an interview with Tasnim News Agency in New Delhi, Gentiloni expressed his views about international trade with Iran and the US attempts to block relations with Tehran.
Asked about his get-together with Zarif, Gentiloni said, “We are old friends and former colleagues and always pleased to meet Zarif, and we discussed both the relations between Europe and Iran that I deem very relevant, and I hope in positive revolution in these relations.”
As to plans for eliminating US dollar from the international trade with Iran, the former Italian premier said, “Well, I think we have to insist on good economic relations with Iran. This is a historical commitment of my country, and I hope that the international situation allows us to continue.”
He was also asked about the latest developments regarding the special purpose vehicle (SPV) – a financial mechanism devised by the EU to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and preserve trade with Tehran – and the impact of the US sanctions on Italy’s ties with Iran. Gentiloni said, “We have always considered seriously the positions of the United States, but we need an autonomous policy, independent (policy).”
The EU countries led by France, Germany and Britain – signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – want to enable non-US trade with Iran to continue in defiance of Washington.
The EU has devised the SPV to continue trade with Iran and neutralize the US sanctions against Tehran.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the P5+1 group (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).