INSTEX a preliminary step for Europe to implement its commitments: Zarif

July 3, 2019 - 20:47

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that INSTEX is a preliminary step for Europe to implement its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“If INSTEX becomes operational, it will be a preliminary to 11 commitments that Europeans should meet,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting.

He also said Iran will be committed to the JCPOA as long as the Europeans will be.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has said that INSTEX does not suffice.

“Nobody in the government has set hope on Europe’s INSTEX, however, we have not blocked its path,” IRNA quoted him as saying on Wednesday in a tweet message.

INSTEX is a European special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between Europe and Iran.

On Friday, the remaining signatories to the JCPOA met in the Austrian capital as a last-ditch effort to save the accord after the U.S. withdrew last year.

They announced in a statement that the European Union mechanism for trade with Iran is up and running.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said that INSTEX has become operational and is processing the first transactions.

“On Friday we also gave an important announcement on the defense of the nuclear deal with Iran: the instrument to support legitimate trade exchanges with Iran (called INSTEX) has become operational and is processing the first transactions. Together with the three countries that set it up – France, Germany and the UK – another seven European countries will join the mechanism. On Friday we also gathered the Joint Commission that works to guarantee the deal’s implementation,” she said in an announcement published on her website on Sunday.

However, Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, on Saturday likened INSTEX to a “beautiful car without gasoline”.

“The current situation of INSTEX does not suffice. This mechanism without money is like a beautiful car without gasoline,” he told reporters.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the multilateral nuclear accord reached between Iran and seven other parties, including the European Union, E3 – Britain, France, Germany – the U.S., Russia and China.

Afterwards, Washington re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the deal.


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