EU after alternative banking channel for doing business with Iran

TEHRAN, May 19 (MNA) – Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says European countries are seeking an alternative banking channel for business transactions with Iran.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Iran’s AEOI deputy for International, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Behrouz Kamalvandi said European countries are seeking to find an alternative way for doing business with Iran that would protect companies from the risk of sanctions by the US.

His remarks came after meeting with European Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, who is the first EU official in Tehran following the US pullout from the nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi said the visit of the EU’s top energy official carries a powerful message given the recent developments regarding the JCPOA, saying that Mr. Canete highlighted the EU’s compliance with its commitments under the nuclear agreement.

“European countries are looking for ways to counter US sanctions,” Kamalvanid said, noting that the meeting with Canete focused on those options.

“EU is trying to put these mechanisms into effect by August 8 and before the activation of US sanctions,” he said. “This way, companies can continue doing business with Iran regardless of US extraterritorial sanctions.”

Trump’s unilateral pullout from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal has put EU in a collision course with the US, as the bloc seeks to save the deal and maintain trade ties with Iran by finding ways to protect European companies doing business with Tehran from the backlash of US extraterritorial sanctions.

Meeting with the AEOI head Ali Akbar Salehi today, European Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said the EU will reactivate the ‘blocking statute’, a 1996 law that would allow the bloc to protect European companies that may be sanctioned by US for doing business with Iran. The EU has also promised to take the first steps for facilitating banking issues by ditching dollar and replacing it with euro in doing business with Iran, according to Salehi.

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