Iran Calls INSTEX EU’s First Step in Implementing Commitments
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi welcomed the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), the European Union’s special financial mechanism for trade with Iran, saying the mechanism is EU’s first step in implementing its commitments.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers that the recent move by the EU to register and announce its special financial mechanism (for trade) with Iran is Europe’s first step in fulfilling its obligations toward Iran as per a May 2018 statement by the foreign ministers of Iran and the three European countries,” Qassemi said in a statement released late on Thursday.
However, he added, the Islamic Republic urges full implementation of all EU commitments “at the shortest possible time”.
“The EU’s measure to establish a special financial mechanism was taken too late,” the Iranian spokesman said.
The three countries and the European Union should ensure that this measure would compensate for some of the “illegal” US sanctions, Qassemi added.
Britain, France and Germany on Thursday issued a joint statement on the creation of the INSTEX that will allow trade between the EU and Iran without relying on direct financial transactions.
"INSTEX will support legitimate European trade with Iran, focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population -- such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and agri-food goods," the foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France -- Jeremy Hunt, Heiko Maas and Jean-Yves Le Drian -- said in the joint statement.
INSTEX has been registered in France and will be run by German banker and former Commerzbank manager Per Fischer. The new special purpose vehicle will have a supervisory board consisting of diplomats from all three countries: Miguel Berger of Germany, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne of France and Simon McDonald of Britain.
The European Union has vowed to counter US President Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.
On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.
Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.
The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic took effect on November 4.