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More Iranian Officials Warn Europe Over Lack Of Progress On Trade

EU and Iranian delegates of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Joint Commission meet on October 19, 2015 at Palais Cobourg in Vienna. Araqchi is second from (R).

Iran's deputy foreign minister says Europe is “incapable” of creating the promised financial mechanism (SPV) and countries refuse to host the financial institution for saving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is a kind of clearinghouse that could be used to help match Iranian oil and gas exports against purchases of EU goods in an effective barter arrangement circumventing U.S. sanctions, which bar the use of the dollar for most trade with Iran.

Despite technical difficulties and delays, the EU believes this formula could shield individual member states from being hit by U.S. sanctions that have been reimposed after Washington's pullout from the nuclear deal.

However, no country has come forward as a potential host. Their reluctance arises from fears that SPV reliance on local banks to smooth trade with Iran may incur U.S. penalties, severing the lenders' access to U.S. markets, diplomats said.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani and UK FM Jeremy Hunt meeting on November 19.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani and UK FM Jeremy Hunt meeting on November 19.

Retaliating for the delay, Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi warned Europe to accelerate efforts to provide the Islamic Republic with the promised financial mechanism.

“Nobody in Iran is going to give in to the sanctions. We will find our way, as we have done in the past,” Araqchi said on Monday morning, November 19.

"If Europeans give in [to US pressures] they will call into question their sovereignty, credibility, and security,” Araqchi noted, adding without elaboration, “If Europe thinks that the West Asia region is safe without the JCPOA, it can wait and see.”

However, Araqqchi insisted that Iran has stayed loyal to JCPOA so far since it has benefited from it, both politically and economically.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani also warned that Tehran has made the necessary decisions amid lack of action on the part of JCPOA signatories against the US pressures.

Shamkhani made the remarks in a meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in Tehran on Monday.

Shamkhani in the meeting criticized the lack of action on the part of European countries, saying “the nuclear talks were hosted by the Europeans and the JCPOA was obtained through their efforts and its violation would mean violation of the credibility and political status of the European Union by the United States.”

Tehran-EU negotiations have been dragging on for months, while the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly insisted that Iran should not count on Europe’s proposed package to fix the nuclear deal following Washington’s exit from JCPOA.

“We do not want to fight with Europe, but these three countries (France, Germany and the U.K.) have proven that, on the most sensitive issues, they follow the US,” Khamenei said on May 23.