The bloc suggested easing the US restrictions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to save the nuclear deal, Politico reports © AFP PHOTO / EU DELEGATION IN VIENNA / EEAS
The EU has proposed watering down the US sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in a move to salvage the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, Politico reported on Friday, citing a draft of the agreement.
The text in question was submitted by the EU and negotiated in Vienna by all parties to the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on Monday after 16 months of talks. For the agreement to take effect, it must be approved by the governments in Iran and the US, which unilaterally pulled out of the deal.
According to Politico, the text’s provisions mean that the US is set “to make greater concession than expected” to revive the deal, including easing the US sanctions on the IRGC, an influential branch of the Iranian Armed Forces.
The issue of lifting or diluting the sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard Corps has been especially contentious, since Washington has designated it as a terrorist organization. Earlier, many high-profile US lawmakers and officials spoke against any efforts to drop the restrictions placed on the organization.
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Nonetheless, the European initiative, brokered by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in close cooperation with his American counterparts, would not remove the sanctions entirely, but significantly curb them, the report says.
According to Politico, under the proposal, non-Americans, including Europeans, would be able to do business with Iranians involved in “transactions” with the IRGC in a way that would not trigger US sanctions. In practice, this reportedly means that the EU, which views Iran as a valuable market, would have the opportunity to conduct trade almost unimpeded. One source told the outlet that the IRGC could evade the sanctions by operating via shell companies.
However, the US special envoy for the Iran talks, Rob Malley, denied that the US is willing to budge when it comes to altering standards of enforcing sanctions. He reiterated that Washington is “not engaged in any negotiation about changing due diligence, know-your-customer” procedures in this field. (RT)
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