Finland says its small- and medium-sized companies are still interested in promoting their business cooperation with Iran, but are waiting for the European Union to establish its special payment mechanism, known as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), to facilitate trade with Iran under the US bans.
The remarks were made on Tuesday in meetings between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi and a number of Finnish officials including the Foreign Ministry’s Permanent State Secretary Matti Anttonen, Under-Secretary of State Anne Sipiläinen, and Pertti Salolainen, the vice chairperson of the Finnish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the head of Finland-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group.
During the meetings, the Finnish officials underlined the country’s full support for the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and described it as a great political, diplomatic, multilateral, and security achievement.
They also expressed the Finnish government’s resolve to develop its cooperation with Iran, and said the Finnish companies are still interested in being present in Iranian markets and promoting their cooperation with the Islamic Republic, but are waiting for the European Union to prepare the grounds.
In addition, they said, the government of Finland is trying to provide facilities for small- and medium-sized companies.
Araqchi, for his part, highlighted the significant role the JCPOA plays in the development and enhancement of Iran’s cooperation and transactions with other countries, including Finland.
“The fate of JCPOA, which is a great achievement of diplomacy and security, has been seriously challenged and threatened as a result of the US’ withdrawal,” the Iranian diplomat said.
By leaving the nuclear deal, he said, “the US is undermining not only the JCPOA but also the independence and sovereignty of other countries as well as the global efforts for non-proliferation.”
He also hailed the EU for its “praiseworthy” political support, and said, “The EU’s political support is valuable, but not enough. European countries must take operational steps to safeguard the JCPOA.”
Araqchi also pointed to the re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran, and said the policy of sanction is a failed one.
“Iran has lived with sanctions for years, and has even gained considerable achievements under the sanctions. The language of respect must replace the language of sanction and threat.”
,He welcomed the Finnish government’s political resolve to continue and expand its all-out cooperation with Tehran, and expressed the hope that further efforts will be made to develop mechanisms and proper solutions in order to facilitate the presence of Finnish companies, especially the small- and medium-sized ones, in Iran.
In order to resolve the issue, Europe has promised to establish the SPV as a mechanism which is supposed to bypass US sanctions against Tehran.