The European Union, sticking it to the United States and President Trump, has announced that it will implement a special payments channel to maintain economic ties with Iran in order to save the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal.
After the Trump administration walked away from the deal last May, Iranian officials tried to intimidate the EU into capitulating, warning that Iran would also quit the nuclear deal.
Sure enough, the EU meekly decided they would indulge the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Under the agreement announced Monday by EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini, the bloc agreed with other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal that it would set up a legal entity ‘to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue trade with Iran.’ The special purpose vehicle would be open to all other countries to participate, including Russia and China, who helped negotiate the agreement.”
On Tuesday, President Trump addressed the U.N., where he urged other countries to severely cut their acquisition of Iranian oil. But a European diplomat whined, “We are not backing down [on the Iran nuclear agreement].”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking on Tuesday on the sidelines of the General Assembly, bluntly stated, “I was disturbed, and indeed, deeply disappointed” by Monday’s announcement.
The Journal noted, “The establishment of a euro-denominated payments system is aimed at allowing companies to send and receive money from Iran. With no links to the U.S. financial system, the idea is, the payment system would be protected from the main U.S. sanctions threat—disconnecting a firm from U.S. markets.”
Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, pointed out, “U.S. sanctions apply to every company and person involved in the SPV, including the banks and companies involved in the transaction. The U.S. government will identify and sanction anyone holding dollar-based assets, doing business with U.S. firms, or traveling to the U.S.”