5 nations, EU dodge U.S. sanctions with system to trade with Iran

Five countries that were party to the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement have agreed to work with Tehran and the European Union to skirt U.S. sanctions.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres walks past the flag of Iran at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Five countries said Monday they have agreed to a deal with the European Union to allow their governments to interact with Iran without drawing U.S. sanctions. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres walks past the flag of Iran at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Five countries said Monday they have agreed to a deal with the European Union to allow their governments to interact with Iran without drawing U.S. sanctions. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

The European Union said it will create a financial mechanism to preserve oil and other business deals with Iran, EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said late Monday.
President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Obama-era deal in May. Afterward, his administration reimposed sanctions on Iran, which left other signatories to the pact scrambling to figure out how to avoid punitive measures for dealing with Tehran.

Foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran said in a joint statement late Monday they will create a “Special Purpose Vehicle” to “assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran.”

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“In practical terms, this will mean that EU member states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran,” Mogherini told reporters after a closed-door meeting with foreign ministers on the sidelines of the U.N General Assembly. This will be “in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world.”

Iran’s economy has worsened since the United States abandoned the agreement, with its currency weakening almost daily.

Mogherini said Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the nuclear deal, agreeing with the conclusion made by the International Atomic Energy Agency last month.

BySommer Brokaw