Tehran welcomes European big initiative

Tehran welcomes European “big initiative”


Tehran : Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Wednesday hailed the EU’s “big move” to allow trade to continue, despite the reinstatement of US sanctions.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, questioned by the BBC, has judged the European efforts “better than expected”.

Donald Trump denounced the 2015 international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program in May and paved the way for the reinstatement of sanctions lifted after its conclusion, which should be extended to Tehran’s trading partners.

A first salvo of measures was re-established in August; others will follow in early November.

The European signatories of the Vienna Agreement, which seek to save this joint Global Action Plan, last week proposed the introduction by November of a “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) to continue trade with the Islamic Republic.

“To maintain financial and monetary relations in Iran, Europe has constituted a special body (…) Europe has taken a major initiative,” said Hassan Rohani, quoted by the news agency Tasnim. The project, he said, made the US president “furious”.

The European idea is to create a barter system – comparable to that used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War – to exchange Iranian oil for European products without financial transactions.

This is not an “oil-for-food program,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi on Monday, citing the UN scheme set up in 1996 to allow the people of Iraq to escape shortages due to the international embargo.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judicial organ of the United Nations, on Wednesday ordered the United States to ensure that its sanctions do not affect the humanitarian situation in Iran.

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