In defying US sanctions and continuing trade with Iran, the European Union intended to establish a trading house that would allow trade to continue without the use of international banking systems, or the US dollar.
The plan seemed a sound one, but is now struggling, with diplomats warning it is unraveling, as the EU is struggling to find a country willing to host the clearing house. Austria, which was the first choice, has already declined the idea.
Now France, Britain, and Germany, none of whom apparently wants to host it themselves, are courting Luxembourg as an alternate host. European officials are not giving up, and say they won’t let the US force them to stop trade with Iran.
Austria was apparently scared away by fear of becoming a target if they hosted the trading house, saying there were too many questions. The host nation is going to have to let their own banks work with the house, and that would make those banks vulnerable to US sanctions.