Remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal have promised to establish a ‘special purpose vehicle’ to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports as part of efforts to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after the US’ withdrawal.
European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a joint press conference on Monday night (New York local time) to elaborate on the results of a meeting between the remaining parties of JCPOA, namely France, the UK, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran.
According to a joint statement issued by the participants and read out by the two diplomats, 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 JCPOA.
Speaking in the Monday meeting with Zarif, Mogherini said the bloc will finalize and implement the “operational solutions” soon.
Back in May, the US walked out of the deal and since then is working to re-impose its sanctions on Tehran and push the world to cut trade with Iran.
The EU has already offered Iran a support package to compensate for the US pullout, which obliges the European Investment Bank to support EU firms willing to enter Iranian markets, among other measures.
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.