Iran Upbeat about EU Payment System: Spokesman

Iran Upbeat about EU Payment System: Spokesman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the country is still optimistic about the European Union’s payment system to allow businesses to continue trading with the Islamic Republic in the US sanctions era.

Speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing in Tehran on Monday, Qassemi pointed to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), the EU’s mechanism aimed at facilitating trade with Iran, and said Iran expects the EU to make the mechanism operational as soon as possible.

“We are faced with a new phenomenon, a new mechanism… whose implementation has some ambiguity,” he said, adding that, nonetheless, there is no reason for the EU’s lack of swiftness in the development of the SPV.

“We still hope that these three (European) countries will be able to demonstrate their ability at this juncture and, as they said in words, they would actually do it in deeds,” Qassemi said. 

The European Union has vowed to counter US President Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna 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.

Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.

The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic took effect on November 4.

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