Europe’s SPV positive step for future cooperation: MP

IRNA – A lawmaker believes the efforts of the European signatories to Iran nuclear deal, in particular a proposed payment mechanism, indicate that they are willing to keep working with Iran.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Mehrdad Lahouti said, “Europe’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) is a tangible step in line with their efforts to help Iran.”

After the US President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers in May and ordered the reimposition of US sanctions suspended under the deal, European powers have been scrambling to salvage the accord.

The European Union announced in late September a special purpose vehicle to facilitate trade with Iran.

European diplomats have described the SPV proposal as a means to create a barter system to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands.

The payment mechanism, however, has not been operationalized yet due to technical problems arisen from US pressures.

Lahouti said the US pressure has made the European side of the nuclear deal—namely France, Germany and Britain—not to announce their plans for how to enforce the payment mechanism.

“The European countries’ efforts can be divided into two categories of tangible and intangible,” the Parliament Budget and Planning Committee member said, adding that their tangible efforts have been very slim.

The Europeans are trying to help Iran resume its financial transactions, he said.

Commenting on critics inside the country who maintain the European efforts do not meet Iran’s demands of the deal it had bargained for more than a decade, Lahouti said, we also expect more from Europe, but, at the same time “the Europeans have announced they are going to cooperate with Iran. This is a window of opportunity that needs to remain open.”

We should not mindful of the international consensus forged in favor of the JCPOA, he added.

JCPOA is the formal name of the historic nuclear deal; the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The parliamentarian noted that the European countries have taken “quick and explicit reactions” against US actions.

“After Trump withdrawal from the JCPOA, the European countries indeed acted well. We have not seen any negative stance from them or at least one can say that they have not backed down on their promises as of yet,” Lahouti added.

The lawmaker, however, called on the European countries to expedite their efforts for facilitating financial transactions with Iran.

“Our expectation from the Europeans to cooperate with Iran is more than the current level, in particular when it comes to financial transactions,” he added.

The lawmaker said in case the European countries do not live up to their commitments and pave the way for the JCPOA to collapse “no country would trust international accords anymore.”

“This would be a bad trend for international accords,” he concluded.