Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his British and French counterparts are working on a way in which EU companies can circumvent US sanctions against Iran. According to SPIEGEL information, they want to set up a financial institution at the beginning of November, the sole purpose of which is to process payments for transactions with Tehran – bypassing the usual financing channels.
The new institute must not be a bank but must have the legal form of a so-called special purpose vehicle. This has the advantage that it does not have to be equipped with capital. Public funds are not necessary. The idea is a French initiative.
The new facility is open to companies from all EU member states. The establishment of the special entity is understood by the three ministers as an act of European sovereignty.
Unlike the US, the three countries want to stick to the nuclear deal with Iran and continue to allow trade with the country. Traditional banks are scared back to do business with Iran because they are afraid of US punitive measures.
Scholz has met with his two colleagues on several occasions to discuss the measure, such as in the margins of the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires in mid-July. The Italian government is also interested in involvement in the special purpose vehicle.
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