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Traders fear Europe’s SPV may not fend off US sanctions on Iran

Financial Tribune – A s Iranian traders (and more broadly Europeans) wait for the launch of the long-awaited special purpose vehicle by European powers, some businesses fear that the trade mechanism may after all fail to shield Iran’s trade from the long reach of US sanctions.

Major European powers say they are still working on the plan to establish the SPV which was meant to be in place before New Year.

Tehran has expressed frustration with European procrastination in launching the SPV. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said this week that he was hopeful Europe in the coming weeks would finalize the rare payment channel.

However, even with the mechanism in place, many businesses do not think that it would turn things around for firms frightened by the prospect of Washington’s retaliatory moves.

Ferial Mostofi, vice president of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce, who recently returned from visits to Europe, China and Hong Kong, is testament to that sentiment.

“I attended a meeting in Italy organized by the European House–Ambrosetti. Several foreign ambassadors and some Italian ministers attended and the discussion shifted to the SPV. What we learnt from that meeting was that despite its best efforts, Europe has not been able to achieve much on the SPV issue,” Mostofi told the Financial Tribune.