What Happened: France and Germany will reportedly take the lead on a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for transactions with Iran from within the European Union, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 26. The plan stipulates that France or Germany would host a corporation that will lead the SPV, while an official from the other country will head the corporation.
Why It Matters: U.S. diplomatic pressure and the risks of sanctions have thus far prevented any country from taking the lead on the SPV. With France and Germany jointly backing the SPV, Paris and Berlin are hoping that their governments are too influential for Washington to sanction. As another European signatory of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the United Kingdom is also considering joining the project.
Background: The United States withdrew from the JCPOA — commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal — in May and has reimposed related sanctions on Iran. Creating the SPV to facilitate financial transactions with Iran is part of a European strategy to keep Iran in the JCPOA.
- Why Iran's Government Will Bear the Weight of U.S. Sanctions (Nov. 21, 2018)
- Iran Feels the Effects of U.S. Sanctions (Nov. 6, 2018)
- U.S.: The Latest Sanctions Against Iran Cast a Wide Secondary Net (Oct. 17, 2018)