Donald Trump’s attempt to persuade members of the United Nations to comply with his “secondary sanctions” against Iran, scheduled for enactment by the United States on November 4, came up empty-handed. To varying degrees, member states, including the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council, rejected Trump’s attempt to apply extra-territorial jurisdiction over other nations’ trade and financial ties with Iran.
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly plenary session, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia, and other countries against the proposed creation of a special financial link, called a “Special Purpose Vehicle” (SPV), to protect Iran from increased U.S. economic sanctions in November. The SPV will facilitate financial transactions between the Central Bank of Iran and the central banks of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden, and other countries.
The European Union nations have vowed to protect the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) international banking network based in Brussels, from excluding Iranian banking institutions. Cutting off Iran from SWIFT is a key secondary sanctions demand of the Trump administration.
The EU has responded to Trump’s threats with enforcement of a law called the “Blocking Statute” that prohibits European companies from acceding to the U.S. secondary sanctions. Nevertheless, some major European companies, including Total SA, Daimler, Volvo, Air France, British Airways, Renault, Peugeot, Siemens, and others are scaling back or suspending their Iranian operations in view of the threat of targeted U.S. secondary sanctions against their assets in the United States.
The SPV’s chief promoters continue to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, an agreement from which Trump withdrew the U.S. in May. A total of 12 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) compliance reports certify that Iran is complying with the terms of the JCPOA, which specifies international inspections of its nuclear program. The original signatories of the JCPOA, called the P5+1 (U.S., UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) is now known as the E3/EU+2 (UK, France, Germany, EU plus Russia and China).
Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton, speaking in New York to the anti-Iran group, “United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), which has links to Israeli propaganda operations and the terrorist Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) organization, reiterated, “We do not intend to allow our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else.” Bolton said there will be “terrible consequences” for countries that do not comply with U.S. secondary sanctions. The prospect looms of American sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, on government officials and business executives of the European Union, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.
One of the prime candidates for a U.S. visa ban and U.S. asset freeze is the European Union’s foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, one of the chief architects of the special purpose vehicle financial link with Iran. Mogherini is just one of many women on the international stage who Trump and Bolton—both of whom have deep-seated personal sexual problems with females—despise.
The U.S. is already in major trade conflicts with China, the EU, Canada, Russia, and other countries. On November 4, what is now a series of skirmishes will become a full-blown world trade war.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).