January 31, 2019 / 6:36 PM / in 6 months

European powers unveil new trade channel with Iran

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt walks in Downing Steet in London, Britain, December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany hailed a new mechanism to ease trade with Iran despite U.S. sanctions as a sign of their commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

“It is a political act,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters after a meeting of EU counterparts in Bucharest. “It is a gesture to protect European companies.”

Britain’s Jeremy Hunt said the three countries were working closely with Tehran to finalise arrangement to allow for humanitarian, pharmaceutical, agricultural and consumer trade.

“Registration is a big step, but there is still more work to be done,” Hunt said.

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel and Robin Emmott

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