The German ambassador to Tehran said a long-promised European financial mechanism aimed at facilitating trade with Iran will be finalized in “the coming days.”
Michael Klor-Berchtold made the remarks during a meeting with Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahhari, the deputy speaker of Parliament, on Saturday, IRNA reported.
“Europe is actively seeking the implementation of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) and there has been good progress in this regard,” he said.
The mechanism is designed to circumvent the US sanctions reimposed on Tehran after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The SPV, which could incorporate a barter system, aims to sidestep the US financial system by using an EU intermediary to handle trade with Iran. It could ensure, for example, that Iranian oil bought by Europeans could be paid for with EU goods and services of the same value.
Klor-Berchtold said Germany has repeatedly expressed regret over the US abandoning of the historic deal, adding that Berlin “has made efforts so that the European Union continues supporting the nuclear deal in unison.”
The ambassador said, “Germany considers Iran as a key country in the region and believes resolving the regional issues and crises needs cooperation and participation of Iran.”
Highlighting the age-old relations between the two sides, he added, “Iran-Germany relations are beyond formal and political levels and the ground is laid for the two sides to expand their relations.”
For his part, Motahhari said Iran expects the EU “to firmly stand up to the US” and adopts an independent stance in its foreign relations.
“After the US exit from the JCPOA, we expect the EU to come up with practical measures so that the deal could be fully implemented,” he said, adding, “Unfortunately, there has not been a significant measure in this regard so far.”
He also criticized the German government for its decision to ban Iran's Mahan Air flights, saying the move runs counter to the existing “friendly ties.”
“We expect the German government to reconsider the decision,” he emphasized.
On January 21, Germany banned Iran's Mahan Air from landing in the country with immediate effect, citing security concerns and the airline's involvement in Syria.
Mahan Air, Iran's second-largest carrier after Iran Air, flew four services a week between Tehran and the German cities of Duesseldorf and Munich.