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E3+2 vows to establish ‘special purpose vehicle’ to facilitate trade with Iran

Remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal have promised to establish a ‘special purpose vehicle’ to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports as part of efforts to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after the US’ withdrawal.

European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a joint press conference on Monday night (New York local time) to elaborate on the results of a meeting between the remaining parties of JCPOA, namely France, the UK, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran.

According to a joint statement issued by the participants and read out by the two diplomats, the meeting “took stock of the process of finding and operationalizing practical solutions for issues arising from the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the agreement and the re-imposition of the sanctions lifted under the JCPOA and its Annex II.”

“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 to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports, including oil, and imports, which will assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran,” the statement read.

“The participants reaffirmed their strong will to support further work aimed at the operationalzation of such a Special Purpose Vehicle as well as continued engagement with regional and international partners,” it added.

The statement said that the participants also “welcomed the fact that updates to the EU’s “Blocking Statute” and the European Investment Bank’s external lending mandate to make Iran eligible entered into force on 7 August.”

According to the statement, the participants recognized that “Iran has continued to fully and effectively implement its nuclear-related commitments as confirmed by 12 consecutive reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and reiterated the need to continue to do so.”