Hosting SPV by France, Germany ‘a step forward’: expert

December 10, 2018

TEHRAN – An expert on international affairs says the news report that France and Germany have agreed to host the special vehicle purpose (SPV) seems to be “a step forward” despite being long overdue.

The SPV is a special payment channel created by Europe as part of its efforts to keep trade flowing with Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions.

“The mechanism, and in general the nuclear deal, is tied to Europe’s dignity, and Europe has to comply with the deal to retain its credibility,” ISNA on Monday quoted Nozar Shafeie as saying.

On the other hand, Shafeie continued, the nuclear pact cannot be implemented without first designing and implementing a payment channel with Iran.

Back in May, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country unilaterally from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and ordered sanctions against Iran. The first round of sanctions went into force on August 6 and the second round, which targets Iran’s oil exports and banks, were snapped back on November 4.

Shafeie pointed out that with U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, the mechanisms of payment channel with Iran were blocked, adding that Europe needs to establish the SPV as fast as possible, otherwise Iran “may change its policy direction.”

Iran and the European side have been discussing ways to conduct non-dollar trade in order to offset the U.S. sanctions.

It has been reported that the SPV will be located in France and its director to be chosen from Germany.

The move comes after Luxembourg and Austria, under the U.S. pressure, refused to host the SPV, with Luxembourg officials being warned that hosting the mechanism could damage the country’s place as a major financial center hosting many international investment funds.

MH/PA

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