‘France May Host Europe-Iran Payment Channel’

Iran’s deputy oil minister says Europe’s special payment channel, known as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), may be set up in France to facilitate trade with Tehran.

Amirhossein Zamaninia said the channel would, in the first phase, be used for commodities which are not subject to US sanctions, and may also be used for goods subject to sanctions as of mid-2019.

“It’s been a long time we’ve been waiting for Europe to take action to keep Europe and Iran in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” he said.

“In order to maintain the strategic balance, Europe needs to do something, and Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany as well as Japan, India and Brazil should be able to play their roles at a time when we are under sanctions and new international relations are taking shape,” he said.

The top official noted that Europe is interested in establishing banking relations with Iran.

“We are going to have banking relations with Europe, and the Europeans are after it, but whenever they want to take any action, they understand that the US has a lot of influence; but there is no doubt about Europe’s strategic influence,” he noted.

The idea of setting up the channel was raised after US President Donald Trump in May pulled his country out of the JCPOA. He also re-imposed the “harshest sanctions in history” on Iran earlier this month.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on Monday whether unable or unwilling, the European Union has failed to create the Special Purpose Vehicle.

Addressing a conference on regional developments and Iran’s foreign policy in Tehran on Monday, Araqchi pointed to the US moves against the Islamic Republic and said Washington’s pressures aim to prevent the formation of the SPV and cut off ties between Iran and the EU.

The US government has threatened that it would impose sanctions on countries involved in the SPV, the Iranian diplomat added.

“We are faced with a situation in which Europe has not been able or unwilling to establish a mechanism to meet Iran’s demands,” Araqchi noted.

   
   

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