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EU Caving to Trump Pressure on Iran Sanctions, SPV ‘Alternative Mechanism’ Now in Tatters

Before the US-Israeli embargo of Iran came into effect on November 1st, EU officials had trumpeted their resolve to preserve guarantees made in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal – by establishing a brand new framework which will allow EU-based firms to continue doing normal business with Iran.

“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 … to protect the freedom of their economic operators to pursue legitimate business with Iran,” said the EU, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia in a joint statement made this past fall.

Despite this and other strong announcements by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Frederica Mogherini (pictured above), the European members appear unable to make good on their promise to support the rights of Iran under the UN charter, as well as each others’ sovereignty relative to US foreign policy dictates. One indication the SPV initiative may be dead in the water, is that both Germany and France appear to be too scared to host it on their own soil. There are a number of contributing factors to this, one of which became clear earlier this week, when the US appeared to have already out-flanked the EU by bullying the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication aka SWIFT organization, based in Belgium – into blocking Iranian transactions from its inter-bank transaction clearing messaging service. The swift capitulation of SWIFT has already set a precedent within the EU that member states do not possess the political where-with-all or independence to stand up to Washington (and the Israeli Lobby) on a matters of principle and with respect to international law. SWIFT’s CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt quickly folded to what appeared to be a hollow US bluff of threats to sanction SWIFT itself should it allow Iran is right to trade essential goods and services. Based on this dubious move, Leibbrandt could be considered an accessory to a US-led international criminal effort to deprive Iran of essentials – including food, fuel and medical supplies and equipment.

RT International reports…

Plans by Brussels to create a special payment channel to continue doing business with Iran and bypass US economic sanctions against the country, are now in tatters, as no EU country has agreed to support the idea.

All the members of the 28-nation bloc are reportedly scared by the punitive measures that Washington may potentially introduce against them for such an act of disobedience.

Earlier, EU officials proposed creating a clearing house, or a special purpose vehicle (SPV), to eliminate the bloc’s dependence on the US and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) which currently provides high-value cross-border transfers for members across the world.

The decision was prompted by US sanctions imposed on Iran and anyone doing business with the country.

“No one has come forward at this stage. If we don’t have a host country, we have a very big problem. So much is riding on this that some way will need [to be found] for someone to host this. There is a lot of nervousness about what hosting an SPV means,” an EU diplomat told Reuters.

So far, France and Germany have ruled themselves out as SPV hosts. At the same time, the EU major powers are reportedly planning to put more pressure on Luxembourg and Belgium to host the headquarters for the SPV after Austria declined a request to manage the project. Both Belgium and Luxembourg have reportedly dropped a hint of doubt over the issue.

“Austria has indeed refused. It’s not dead, but it’s not going in the right direction. We are going to try again with Luxembourg, but we’re under no illusions,” another diplomat told the agency…

Continue this report at RT International

READ MORE IRAN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iran Files




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