Alwaght- European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini announced on Monday remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal is working to establish a special payment channels to do business with Iran to salvage the deal after the US’ withdrawal.
According to a joint statement issued by the participants and read out by Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the meeting “took stock of the process of finding and operationalizing practical solutions for issues arising from the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the agreement and the re-imposition of the sanctions lifted under the JCPOA and its Annex II.”
"Mindful of the urgency and the need for tangible results, the participants welcomed practical proposals to maintain and develop payment channels, notably the initiative to establish a special purpose vehicle to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports, including oil, and imports, which will assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran," the statement read.
“The participants reaffirmed their strong will to support further work aimed at the operationalzation of such a Special Purpose Vehicle as well as continued engagement with regional and international partners,” it added.
The statement said that the participants also “welcomed the fact that updates to the EU’s “Blocking Statute” and the European Investment Bank’s external lending mandate to make Iran eligible entered into force on 7 August.”
According to the statement, the participants recognized that “Iran has continued to fully and effectively implement its nuclear-related commitments as confirmed by 12 consecutive reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and reiterated the need to continue to do so.”
The Participants said they will continue to support the modernization of Iran’s Arak research reactor as part of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and the conversion of the Fordow facility in a nuclear, physics, and technology center.
“Participants also reaffirmed their support for projects in the area of civil nuclear co-operation on the basis of Annex III of the JCPOA,” the statement added.
The meeting between the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal came after bilateral talks between Zarif and Mogherini, during which the latter said Europe is finalizing its offers to meet the Islamic Republic’s demands in a bid to save the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) JCPOA.
JCOPA is a historic nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers-- China, Russia, UK, US, Germany, and France-- in 2015 under which Iran agreed to limit parts of its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions.
Speaking in the Monday meeting with Zarif, Mogherini said the bloc will finalize and implement the “operational solutions” soon.
The US exit from the Iran nuclear deal in May drove a wedge between the Trump administration and US allies over in Europe, who reaffirmed their commitment to the landmark agreement. After unilaterally breaking off from the multi-party deal, the US has been gradually reimposing sanctions that had been lifted under the agreement. The first round of sanctions kicked in August, to be followed by a second and final round in November. Ahead of the November 4 deadline, the US has been pushing its allies to cut all business with Iran, threatening European companies with secondary sanctions. The heavy-handed approach has drawn sharp criticism from Brussels as well as France, Germany and the UK.
Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi had noted that the offers made by Europeans to save the Iran nuclear deal had so far failed to meet Iran’s expectation, but Tehran was still hopeful Europe could convince it to remain in the deal.