Bahram Qassemi

Iran’s Ghasemi denies knowledge of European ‘preconditions’ for trade

Radio Farda – The spokesman of Iran’s foreign ministry has denied any knowledge of conditions set by Europe for launching a special mechanism to allow Iran to trade with European countries, despite U.S. sanctions.

Bahram Ghasemi in an interview with the state broadcaster on Sunday expressed regret that Europe’s proposed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has not become operational due to “limitless American” pressure and said “I hope Europe will be able to defend its identity in the face of these pressures”.

Europe voiced disagreement with the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran in May and the reimposition of sanctions, promising to facilitate trade with Iran in a manner as not to violate Washington’s sanctions. But the promised SPV has not yet materialized, prompting Iranian officials to periodically voice their dissatisfaction.

Recently, the head of Iran’s parliamentary commission on national security and foreign policy had said that the European offer has been postponed to due to preconditions such as improvement of Iran’s relations with the United States.

In the interview Ghasemi added that Iran is still hopeful the European trade mechanism will be put in place, but he claimed that at the same time Iran has many alternatives for trade, such as India, China, Russia and Turkey.

Iran has also not approved new legislation, demanded by the international Financial Action Task Force against money laundering and financing of terrorism. The speaker of Iran’s parliament has said that if the new laws are not approved, even friendly countries will refuse to do business with Iran’s banks.