Russian Envoy Downbeat about EU Mechanism for Trade with Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian expressed pessimism about the success of the European Union’s mechanism for trade with Iran, known as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).

Russian Envoy Downbeat about EU Mechanism for Trade with Iran

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Jagarian said there are numerous details surrounding the issue of INSTEX and the cooperation between the EU countries and Iran as the country should establish a similar mechanism to work with the countries.

“But this issue is very complicated because Europeans are in a very difficult situation,” the diplomat said.

“On the one hand, they are committed to fulfilling their obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as long as Iran is committed,” he said, adding, “On the other hand, they are under a very strong pressure by the US and it is very difficult for them (to trade with Iran).”

The Russian ambassador further emphasized that it remains to be seen how the developments will proceed.

“I hope that they will succeed but personally, I'm not very optimistic,” Jagarian said adding that God willing the Europeans will be successful in implementing the mechanism.

Earlier this week, a mechanism called the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI), which is similar to the INSTEX, was registered by Tehran.

The move was the result of the efforts made by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and a group of Iranian governmental and private banks and a number of companies will participate in it.

The president of the INSTEX recently traveled to Tehran to hold talks with senior Iranian officials on ways to make the mechanism operational.

INSTEX is based in Paris and managed by the German banking expert Per Fischer.

The three European countries that are signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are reportedly going to use the channel initially only to sell food, medicine and medical devices in Iran.

In May 2018, 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 withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

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