DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is still hopeful that its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers can be saved despite the withdrawal of the United States, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.
“There are some ambiguities on implementation of the EU’s mechanism to protect trade with Iran from America’s sanctions … But we remain hopeful that the Europeans can save the deal,” Bahram Qasemi told a news conference broadcast live on state TV.
Other signatories trying to salvage the deal since May, when U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned it. Washington restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors this month.
The European Union has been trying to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for non-dollar trade with Iran to save the deal, under which most sanctions were lifted in 2016 in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program.
The SPV was conceived as a clearing house that could be used to help match Iranian oil and gas exports against purchases of EU goods, circumventing U.S. sanctions based on the global use of the dollar for oil sales.
The EU has tried to have the SPV set up by this month, but no country has offered to host it, six diplomats told Reuters last week.
“We expect EU to implement the SPV as soon as possible,” Qasemi said. “Iran adheres to its commitments as long as other signatories honor theirs.”
Iran has threatened to exit the deal if its economic benefits are not preserved.