E3 Agrees to Replace Dollar in Iran Trade: Lavrov

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russia says the three European parties to the Iran nuclear deal have agreed to continue trade ties with Tehran without the US dollar.

The European parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action –Britain, France and Germany- have agreed to maintain trade with Iran independent of the US dollar, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

According to the Russian minister, the decision would apply particularly to small and medium-sized companies.

The participants in the Iranian deal have agreed to work out measures to protect the countries’ businesses from US sanctions, RT quoted him as saying.

“Everyone agrees that this (US sanctions) is an absolutely illegal and unacceptable policy, but, of course, this can hardly be changed and there will be enough struggle in trade, economic and political spheres,” Lavrov added.

His comments came a few days after senior diplomats from Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union gathered in Vienna to discuss the ways to save the Iran nuclear deal, known as JCPOA.

The final statement of the meeting emphasized the participants’ commitment to the maintenance and promotion of wider economic and sectoral relations with Iran, preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, promotion of export credit cover, clear and effective support for economic operators trading with Iran, particularly small and medium sized enterprises which are the backbone of many economies, and to protection of companies from the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said later that the operational methods put forward in the ministerial meeting appeared to be practical.

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the Europeans.

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