By Zahra Khezri

Europe tries to ensure connection of at least one Iranian bank with the world: French senator

October 22, 2018 - 20:29

TEHRAN – French Senator Philippe Bonnecarrere, who heads the France-Iran friendship group in the upper house of parliament, says that European nations are seeking to ensure that at least one Iranian bank stay connected to the world after the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Tehran.

Making the remarks during a news conference with French and Iranian counterparts on Sunday in Tehran, the French senator said that his country expresses support for the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), along with other European Union member states.

The EU has proposed a measure – known as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) – to help Iran continue trade with Europe. SPV acts as a means to create a barter system to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands.

Senator Bonnecarrere, who was in Iran with six other members of the French parliament, added, "[the purpose is] to have at least one Iranian bank remain connected to the international banking system through SWIFT to keep up commercial relations on goods or services that are not subject to sanctions.”

Delphine O, a member of the French National Assembly, also took the podium at the conference. She said that 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.”

Asked by Tehran Times whether the new round of U.S. sanctions have any impact on Iran-France relationship, the French lawmaker said that the U.S. is the world's most dominant economic power and its sanctions imposed on Iran will definitely impact the global market as well.

However, she added, as Tehran and Paris sit around the same table to explore ways out of the sanctions regime and keep the French companies operating in Iran, they will end up having closer relationship than ever before.  

The French parliamentarian also noted that the world cannot react to Trump’s every tweet as he tends to shoot from the hip a lot.

‘French parliamentary team’s visit of Iran is very important’

For his part, Kazem Jalali, who heads Iran-France friendship group in the Iranian parliament, said the visit by the French parliamentary team to Iran is very meaningful, just a few weeks prior to the imposition of a second round of the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s energy.

Jalali told reporters that 500 European MPs have signed a petition in support for the JCPOA, in hope to lessen the impact of the imposed sanctions on Iran.
The second round of U.S. sanctions goes into effect on November 4.