Europe after keeping Iran bank connected to world: French MP


A French lawmaker says during a visit to Iran that Europe wants to ensure that at least one Iranian bank will stay connected to the world after the upcoming round of US sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.

The continent wanted “to have at least one Iranian bank remain connected to the international banking system through (Belgium-based financial messaging service) SWIFT to keep up commercial relations on goods or services that are not subject to sanctions,” French Senator Philippe Bonnecarrere (seen below) said on Sunday.

The lawmaker, who heads the France-Iran friendship group in the Upper House of France’s Parliament, made the remarks during a news conference with French and Iranian counterparts.

He was in Iran with six other French legislators.

France is among the six countries that inked a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran in Vienna in 2015.

The United States pulled out of the multi-lateral deal in May, although the agreement has been ratified in the form of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

In August, it returned some of the sanctions that had been lifted by the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Washington is to impose a second round of sanctions aimed at Iran’s energy sector on November 4.

It has threatened the countries that could keep up their businesses with Iran, including by buying Iranian oil, with “secondary” sanctions.

The European efforts to help Iranians benefit from the nuclear deal despite the sanctions were “difficult, but it’s possible,” said the French legislator.

The visit by the French delegation was a sign of “all the determination and all the will of France to keep alive the nuclear agreement,” said Delphine O, one of lawmakers.

In late September, the European Union, which coordinated the talks leading to the agreement, said an initiative by the bloc to facilitate payment to and from Iran as part of efforts to save the nuclear deal could be in place before November.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the “Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)” was aimed at keeping trade with Tehran in the face of the bans.

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