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Iran FM says oil deal with EU 'close' despite U.S. sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacts during a plenary session at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Saturday that Tehran was closing in on an agreement to sell oil to European nations despite U.S. sanctions.

After talks with Zarif on Sept. 27, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the Europeans would set up a legal business entity to transfer money without coming under Washington’s scanner.

Britain, France and Germany, in addition to Russia and China, had all pleaded for U.S. President Donald Trump to adhere to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal framework.

The U.S. has recently reinstated tough economic sanctions which, according to Trump, will remain in place as long as Iranian aggression continues.

Iran and Europe are trying to forge a mechanism for paying for Iran’s oil in barter and local currencies, rather than in American dollars.