The European Union has created a special-purpose body that will deal with transactions that include Iranian oil and European goods in a bid to avoid the latest round of US sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation.
In a statement at the UN, the EU’s head of foreign policy Federica Mogherini, said: “In practical terms, this will mean that EU member states will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world.”
European diplomats were quoted by Reuters as comparing it to a barter system used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, which eliminated the use of money. However, other European diplomats were concerned that the attempt to continue using Iranian exports was flawed.
“The key is to keep all possibilities open so that we can signal to the Iranians that the door isn’t closing,” one French diplomat said.
The European members of the Iranian nuclear deal, which US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of, have consistently expressed their commitment to keeping the deal in place and have enforced provisions that essentially prevent EU companies from complying with the US sanctions.