‘Russia prepared to help Iran for oil exports if INSTEX not realized’

June 22, 2019

TEHRAN - Russia is ready to help Iran with oil sales and its banking sector if the European trade mechanism is not launched, Interfax cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 and ordered re-imposition 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.

European countries established the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) in January to help shield limited trade with Iran from U.S. sanctions.

On March 20, Central Bank of Iran (CB) Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati announced that a mechanism similar to INSTEX has been registered in Iran, officially called the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI).

Iran has been criticizing the Europe’s performance in realizing the trade mechanism.

Earlier this month, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the role of France in salvaging the 2015 nuclear accord, saying the European banking mechanism has remained on the paper and has not been made operational.

In early June, the British, French and German ambassadors to Iran issued a statement following completion of further expert meetings in Tehran, vowing to deliver INSTEX’s first transaction as quickly as possible.

On June 7, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told TASS that INSTEX is failing to gain momentum.

EF/MA

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