NEW YORK (Reuters) - The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Wednesday a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under consideration to facilitate trade with Iran could be in place “before November.”
The SPV aims to keep trade flowing even if possible U.S. sanctions hit Tehran. Asked at an event in New York when it could be established, Mogherini said: “I believe before November.”
Asked if the United States’ pulling out of the Iran deal could be a serious challenge to the U.S. dollar as reserve currency in the context of the creation of the SPV, Mogherini said “it is still an initial stage, but this could be a result of that. For sure, it has made us and other parts of the world wonder what kind of (financial) autonomy we have.”
Even as she said she continues to consider the United States the EU’s strongest ally, Mogherini said “no sovereign country or organization can accept that somebody else decides with whom you are allowed to do trade with.”
European diplomats have previously described the SPV proposal as a means to create a barter system, similar to one used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by James Dalgleish and Jonathan Oatis