Europe wants to help an enemy. Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China are working on creating a “Special Purpose Vehicle” that would facilitate trade between Iran and other states and avoid U.S. sanctions. It will work only to feed Iran’s ambitions, writes James Phillips:
By colluding with Russia and China to evade U.S. sanctions, the EU seeks to appease Iran, keep it in the flawed 2015 nuclear deal , and deliver a symbolic diplomatic slap to the Trump administration.
But the SVP [Special Purpose Vehicle] and other measures such as EU’s updated Blocking Statute are not likely to meet Iran’s demands for remaining in the nuclear agreement. These measures may marginally reduce the impact of U.S. sanctions on trade, but they will not satisfy Tehran’s need for substantial foreign investment and technology transfer.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kazem Sajjadpour signaled Tehran’s frustration with the limited progress made on EU efforts to bypass U.S. sanctions: “What is lacking is both speed and efficiency.”
Iran’s distrust of EU bureaucrats is shared by many European businessmen, who are unwilling to risk being targeted by U.S. sanctions that would impose concrete economic penalties in order to enable EU officials to take a symbolic stand against Washington.
To make matters worse, the SPV will be open to non-European firms, meaning that the EU will be enabling Russia and China to advance their own economic and geopolitical interests regarding Iran.
The EU’s misguided efforts to appease Iran not only facilitate Iran’s hegemonic ambitions, but they also could jeopardize the security of EU citizens.
Tehran recently was caught red-handed in foiled plots to bomb an Iranian exile rally in France in June 2018 and an effort to assassinate the exiled leaders of a separatist Arab Iranian opposition group in Denmark in October.
[James Phillips, “EU Risks Dangerous Blowback by Undermining Iran Sanctions,” The Daily Signal, November 16]