Axel Hellman

  • Mitigating Iran Sanctions: The Case for a Humanitarian SPV

    As part of its efforts to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, Europe is on the verge of launching a special purpose vehicle (SPV)—a payment mechanism described as “a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran.” Yet while Europeans see this mechanism as both legitimate and necessary, the SPV is regarded by the Trump administration as an attempt to evade US sanctions and is thus vulnerable to retaliation from Washington.

    As Esfandyar Batmanghelidj and I argue in a new report for the European Leadership Network and Bourse & Bazaar, establishing a humanitarian SPV (H-SPV) would enable the European Union (EU) and European...

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  • EU-OFAC: A New Mechanism to Help Salvage the Iran Deal

    The US decision to withdraw unilaterally from the Iran nuclear deal and pursue a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran is pushing Europe to find creative new ways to preserve economic relations with Iran and thus salvage the agreement.

    One idea, floated by the French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, is the establishment of a European version of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This EU-OFAC, Le Maire has said, would be “capable of following the activities of foreign companies and checking if they are respecting European decisions.”

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