Austrian president: It’s important to keep nuclear deal alive

January 10, 2019 - 11:56

TEHRAN – Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has supported efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Der Standard reported on Wednesday that Van der Bellen said that it is very important to keep the JCPOA alive, IRNA reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington unilaterally from the nuclear deal in May 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.

Following the U.S. withdrawal, the European Union promised to set up an alternative payment mechanism for Iran to continue business with the Islamic Republic in exchange for the country to remain in the nuclear agreement.

However, Iran has been critical of the EU’s delay in establishing the special purpose vehicle (SPV), citing the bloc’s fear of the U.S. punitive measures against any country that decides to host the mechanism.

The European Union’s spokesperson said Monday that the bloc is still working on setting up a payment mechanism to facilitate trade with Iran and bypass U.S. sanctions.

“Actually, this is the work that is carried out by the (EU) member states. And according to the information that we have, the work is continuing and advancing well,” Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU High Representative Federica Mogherini told a news conference in Brussels on Monday, the Kuwait News Agency reported. 

She said the SPV will be established “soon”. “We believe that it will be established in the coming weeks to promote legitimate business with Iran.”

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