Europe should speed up INSTEX implementation: Kharrazi

May 11, 2019

TEHRAN – Kamal Kharrazi, chief of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, said on Saturday that Iran’s 60-day ultimatum to the remaining parities of the 2015 nuclear deal is a good opportunity for them to accelerate the implementation of Europe’s financial mechanism, officially known as INSTEX.

Kharrazi made the remarks in a meeting in Paris with French Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Marielle de Sarnez. 

On May 8, Iran announced a partial withdrawal from some “voluntary” aspects of the pact, saying that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities. It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if it was not shielded from the sanctions’ effects within 60 days.

According to Kharrazi, the next two months will be an appropriate time for the European powers to fulfill their obligations with regard to the activation of the financial mechanism which was designed to counter the impact of U.S. sanctions, Mehr reported.

INSTEX was introduced in January 2019 by France, Germany and Britain – three parties to the 2015 nuclear deal – to facilitate legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran.

On March 20, Iran’s central bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati announced that a mechanism similar to INSTEX has been registered in Iran, officially called the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI).

Kharrazi, who was foreign minister from 1997-2005 under President Mohammad Khatami, said the mechanism “should become operational as soon as possible to fulfill its already delayed expectations.”

This is the least the EU could do to prove its commitments to the previous agreements, he said.

One year ago, U.S. President Donald Trump formally pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal that was struck between Iran on the one side and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany on the other.

Since then, Trump has introduced economic sanctions on Iran and last month labeled Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization, a move that heightened the tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Kharrazi pointed to U.S. pressures on European countries after it pulled out of the JCPOA, saying the Iranian people are sceptic of Europe because it had failed to comply with the deal and had acted in accordance with U.S. policies.

MH/PA

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