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France Takes The Lead In Protecting Iran Oil Trade From U.S. Sanctions

Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via

France aims to lead the European Union (EU) efforts in defying U.S. sanctions on Iran, by supporting the creation of a payment mechanism to keep trade with Iran and making the euro more powerful, France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with the Financial Times.

“Europe refuses to allow the US to be the trade policeman of the world,” Le Maire told FT, adding that the EU needs to affirm its independence in the rift between the EU and the United States over the sanctions on Iran.

The EU has been trying to create a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that would allow the bloc to continue buying Iranian oil and keep trade in other products with Iran after the U.S. sanctions on Tehran return.

The idea behind the SPV is to have it act as a clearing house into which buyers of Iranian oil would pay, allowing the EU to trade oil with Iran without having to directly pay the Islamic Republic.

As the U.S. sanctions on Iran snapped back on Monday, the SPV hasn’t been operational and reports have had it that the undertaking is very complicated and politically sensitive. The bloc is also said to be struggling with the set-up, because no EU member is willing to host it for fear of angering the United States, the Financial Times reported recently, citing EU diplomats.

On Monday, the Belgium-based international financial messaging system SWIFT said that it would comply with the U.S. sanctions on Iran and would cut off sanctioned Iranian banks from its network. This was a blow to the EU’s attempts to defy the U.S. sanctions.

The decision by SWIFT highlights the need for an SPV, France’s Le Maire told FT, but he refused to name countries that could host such a special vehicle. Yet, there have been expressions of interest, he told FT.

Meanwhile, the United States has been dismissive of the idea of an SPV, and Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, said in a press briefing with European reporters on Monday:

“We have not seen much, if any, demand for the Special Purpose Vehicle. I think if you take a look at the over 100 corporations that have decided to choose the United States market over the Iranian market, they’re not looking to avail themselves of any type of vehicle.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Sally Snyder
Sally Snyder
November 9, 2018

As shown in this article, the United States is extremely concerned about cyberwarfare with Iran:

This is yet another front on which the United States is highly vulnerable.

Reply to  Sally Snyder
November 10, 2018

Good. I liked the line in the article “death by 1,000 hacks”. Cyber warfare against the US can only grow into death by millions of hacks as an increasingly number of countries increase their own cyber capabilities.

Olivia Kroth
November 10, 2018

A very good move by France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire. Hopefully, it will come through.

Shaun Ramewe
Shaun Ramewe
November 10, 2018

Because the filthy false-flagging terrorist-abetting French never got to steal sovereign Syria’s oil!!

Reply to  Shaun Ramewe
November 10, 2018

France didn’t need to steal it. Long before the US started the war in Syria, the French were already in Syria, contracted by the Syrian government to conduct off-shore oil and gas exploration. France was “in” with Syria. Off-shore extraction was scheduled to start, but it was stalled by US interventions in yet another sovereign nation. Funny thing that. The US probably didn’t want French involvement as it was instrumental in orchestrating a European ban on oil imports from Syria. Whatever happened, it has backfired for the US. In accordance with an energy cooperation framework agreement signed in late January… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Smokingeagle
November 11, 2018

This is not correct. Of course, France stole Syrian oil, “inviting” itself into that country which France has been exploiting since 1920. For nearly a hundred years, Syria has tried to get rid of the French exploiters. In 1920, an independent Kingdom of Syria was established under King Faisal I of the Hashemite family. However, his rule over Syria ended after only a few months because French troops occupied Syria later that year. The League of Nations put Syria under a French mandate. In 1925, Sultan al-Atrash won several battles against the French, notably the Battle of al-Kafr on 21… Read more »

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