Zarif says INSTEX is a prerequisite for implementation of European promises

February 22, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that INSTEX, a financial channel for trade with Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions, is just a prerequisite for implementation of the European promises.

“When the U.S. withdrew from the [2015] nuclear agreement, the remaining parties made a series of commitments which consist of 12 points. This financial mechanism is not one of them, it is only a prerequisite for the implementation of the promises,” he said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger published on Thursday.

The nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, predicts normalization of economic relations but a trading system like INSTEX is not normalization, the chief diplomat added.

“We are ready to live in this situation because we do not want to ask too much from the partners in Europe. But INSTEX has not been implemented yet, secondly its implementation takes nine months. And third, there must be money in there. Money will only be there when there is trade, oil deals and investment in Iran,” he added.

In May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA and ordered reimposition of sanctions against Iran. The first round of sanctions went into force on August 6 and the second round, which targets Iran’s oil exports and banks, were snapped back on November 4.

After months of delay on January 31, France, Germany, and Britain finally announced the creation of INSTEX, a special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran.

The European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said INSTEX will support legitimate European trade with Iran.

NA/PA

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