Europe plans ‘special vehicle’ to maintain companies’ ties to Iran, avoid U.S. sanctions

The Wall Street Journal | Farnaz Fassihi: The European Union said late Monday that it would establish a special payment channel to allow European and other companies to legally continue financial transactions with Iran while avoiding exposure to U.S. sanctions.

The move is a direct rebuke of President Trump’s policy on Iran and his decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal in May, and sets the stage for a confrontation between the U.S. and Europe in the days ahead at the U.N. General Assembly, where Iran is among the prominent themes.

EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made the announcement of a “special purpose vehicle” jointly, in English and Farsi, after a meeting at the U.N. of the parties still committed to the deal—Iran, EU, U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China.

“We are not backing down [on the Iran nuclear agreement],” said a European diplomat. He said the speeches of European leaders at a Security Council meeting Mr. Trump is hosting on Wednesday on nonproliferation, including Iran, will reflect the Monday night statement.

 

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