(Persia Digest) – Former Iranian Ambassador to norway believes: “The European Union's delay in establishing an SPV for work with Iran may be due to threats by Trump against European countries, and EU’s efforts to gain concessions from Iran under the present circumstances.”
After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the reinstatement of sanctions against Iran, including a cut off from SWIFT, talks were carried out to create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for financial transactions between Tehran and the EU. The mechanism was expected to be in place by 4 November when the US sanctions were due to kick off again. But there are no signs of the SPV starting work yet. Is this due to complications in the mechanism or is the EU unready for a political face off with the US?
Former Iranian Ambassador to norway , Professor Abdolreza Farajirad, told Persia Digest in an interview: “Considering Trump left the JCPOA six months ago, if the obstacles were purely in the startup mechanism, this would have been resolved by now. But delays in creating a SWIFT system to work with the euro can have political reasons.”
He stated: “One of these reasons is the threats Trump has made against the EU, including Brian Hook’s trip to Europe and talks with the main political and banking authorities on the Continent. Thus, Trump instilled doubt in the Europeans with his hidden and obvious threats. They did not believe that US pressures on Iran would be to this extent from the start.”
The university professor continued: “Another reason can be the six-month time period granted to Iran’s oil customers. This means that the EU is not in a rush to start the SPV. In addition, this is not supposed to leave Iran free to do business despite the sanctions. Iran still has six months for its oil transactions without the SPV.”
He added: “A third reason may be due to European efforts to gain concessions from Iran. We saw a greater interest in creating the SPV over the past few months; but the EU is stalling now.”
Farajirad emphasized that further negotiations with higher ranking European officials must be held, stating: “The EU had proposed a EU3+2 meeting (3 EU countries + USA + Iran); but this was declined by Tehran. As such, they may also be trying to get Iran’s acceptance of such talks. They also have disagreements with Tehran over regional issues and missiles. In my opinion, they are not willing to start the SPV without receiving concessions from Iran.”
He continued by saying: “These three points are mere speculation; but optimism is certainly fading away about Europe replacing the American SWIFT. Even so, we must keep up hope and continue further talks. Europe also knows that if Iran is disheartened, it can take steps against the interests of the Continent.”
This former high-ranking Iranian diplomat reiterated: “Common borders between Europe and the Middle East places the Continent at the risk of any instabilities in our region, including an influx of unchecked immigration and transfer of terrorists. The USA does not feel this threat due to its distance.”
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