Envoy warns of U.S. plans to target Iran-Europe trade channel

June 11, 2019

TEHRAN – The Iranian Ambassador to the UK warned on Monday of U.S. plans to impose sanctions on the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI), which Iran established as a counterpart to the European mechanism known as INSTEX.

“With this sanction, INSTEX will be practically destroyed and Europe’s diplomacy will end in total failure,” Hamid Baeidinejad said in a tweet.

He further said he hoped everyone understands now that the biggest threat against the nuclear pact, also known as the JCPOA, and regional security is the United States’ “economic terrorism against Iran.”

Baeidinejad made the remarks in reference to a Bloomberg report on Monday, which said the Trump administration is weighing sanctions against INSTEX, a move likely to sever the economic and humanitarian lifeline that France, Germany and the UK have sought to create for Tehran.

Bloomberg quoted a senior Trump administration official as saying that the STFI is essentially an extension of Iran’s central bank, which already is covered by U.S. sanctions and, according to the administration, hasn’t implemented minimum global safeguards against money laundering and terrorism financing.

European countries established INSTEX in January to help shield limited trade with Iran from U.S. sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew from the multinational Iran nuclear deal a year ago. 

MH/PA

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