19 November 2018, News Wires — Iran will continue to export oil despite U.S. sanctions, which are part of a psychological war doomed to failure, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday.
But this has not stopped foreign businesses ranging from oil companies and trading houses to firms leaving Iran for fear of incurring U.S. penalties.
Iran has threatened to exit the deal if its economic benefits are not preserved, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told a news conference that it remained “hopeful that the Europeans can save the deal”.
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 the U.S. sanctions, which are based on the global use of the dollar for oil trade.
The EU wanted 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’s deputy Oil Minister Amirhossein Zamaninia said “France might host the SPV”, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday.
The French Foreign Ministry declined to comment. The Finance Ministry has said that all options are on the table for the SPV and that no decisions had been taken.
Washington has warned that European banks and firms who engage in the SPV will be at risk from the reimposed U.S. sanctions.