Five Powers Agree on Plan to Assist Iran’s Exports

Graca Machel, widow of Nelson Mandela, addresses the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Five world powers have agreed with Iran to establish a financial facility in the European Union to facilitate payments for Iran’s exports, including oil, as well as its imports. It is a key move sought by Tehran following the U.S. pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal and its re-imposition of sanctions.

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

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters after the closed-door ministerial meeting that the financial facility is also aimed at preserving the nuclear agreement that is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapon.

Mogherini says that “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.”

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