UN General Assembly begins amid Trump-Rouhani war of words

Frederick Owens
September 25, 2018

President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May.

Remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal have promised to establish a "special objective vehicle" to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports as part of efforts to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after the US' withdrawal.

Iran has ample reason to stay in the 2015 nuclear deal despite the USA withdrawal and the remaining parties on Monday will discuss ways to blunt the effect of impending US sanctions on Tehran, the European Union's foreign policy chief said.

The European Union, along with Russian Federation and China, said in a joint statement that the so-called "Special Purpose Vehicle" will "assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business with Iran".

The joint statement said the six countries that signed the 2015 nuclear agreement "reconfirmed their commitment to its full and effective implementation in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere".

The Participants said they will continue to support the modernization of Iran's Arak research reactor as part of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and the conversion of the Fordow facility in a nuclear, physics, and technology center.

It was spearheaded by the Obama administration and saw the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

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Iran has threatened to withdraw from the nuclear accord unless European nations move to neutralize the consequences of Washington's exit.

The US has also accused Iran of promoting worldwide terrorism, which Tehran vehemently denies. Right now, the European Union and China are looking for other ways to keep trading with Iran with the nuclear agreement looking all but broken at this point.

She said the agreement follows extensive exchanges and announced that a meeting of technical experts will be held to "operationalize" the new financial facility.

The news comes as Rouhani and other world leaders are gathering in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, where President Trump is expected to ask worldwide officials to impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Further restrictions, planned for early November, are set to hit Iran's oil and shipping sectors.

Consequently, India-the world's third-largest oil importer-has been paying much more for oil in recent months.

Rodger Shanahan, a research fellow at the Lowry Institute for International Policy, called the European Union agreement "a poke in the eye for the US". At the same time all external auditors have found that Iran has been complying with the agreement.

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