European Union and Iran agree on new payment system to skirt USA sanctions

Ali Akbar Velayati a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

"Mindful of the urgency and the need for tangible results, the participants welcomed practical proposals to maintain and develop payment channels, notably the initiative to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports, including oil", Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran said in a joint statement.

The EU will create new payment channels to preserve oil and other business deals with Iran, Federica Mogherini, the bloc's foreign policy chief said late on Monday, in a bid to evade U.S. punitive measures.

In November, U.S. sanctions against Iran will go back into full effect.

In sharp contrast, the five other world powers who signed the nuclear deal remain strongly committed to it, and the new financial facility is nearly certain to anger the Trump administration. The White House also threatened secondary sanctions on any countries or companies that conduct transactions with Iran.

The European Union and Iran, along with Russian Federation and China, said they were determined to "protect the freedom of their economic operators to pursue legitimate business with Iran" in a statement issued after high-level talks at the United Nations.

"Iran has good arguments and good reasons to remain in the agreement. the more operational decisions we will manage to take and. implement, I believe the more Iran will have reasons to do", she added.

It was spearheaded by the Obama administration and saw the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

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It was in May this year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned the deal by pulling out of it because he felt that the deal was not strong enough and did not cover concerns of the US such as it did not include curbs on Iran's ballistic missiles program.

The US has also accused Iran of promoting worldwide terrorism, which Tehran vehemently denies.

The European Union agreed on Monday to come up with a plan to circumvent USA sanctions on Iran.

Meanwhile, the EU has vowed to stick with the deal and updated legislation to protect European companies from future sanctions.

Mogherini said the decision to establish the mechanism "has been taken" and that technical experts from European Union member states would now be convening to turn it into reality.

Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi, reporting from the United Nations headquarters in NY, said the new entity will act as a "clearing house, a middle man, so to speak, between Europeans and Iranians as they try to do business".

Velayati also dismissed as "unlikely" the threat of Iran's oil exports dwindling to zero as a result of pressure from the USA and its allies. At the same time all external auditors have found that Iran has been complying with the agreement.

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