By staff and agency

Non-EU member states will join INSTEX: EU’s Helga Schmid

July 12, 2019

Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid said on Thursday that countries outside the European Union will join the special financial mechanism for trade with Iran, known as INSTEX.

According to AP, she said that beyond the 10 EU nations that are already part of the system, she could “share with you that more, also non-EU member states, will join.”

Apart from the three EU member nations that are party to the deal - Britain, Germany and France - seven more EU member states have recently committed to take part.

The EU announced on June 28 that INSTEX has gone into effect. 

INSTEX – the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges - is a European special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between Europe and Iran.

Tehran says the mechanism is far short of expectation. Iran insists the mechanism should include Iran’s oil purchases.

Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, has 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 on June 29.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrew from the multi-nation nuclear agreement, Iran announced a partial withdrawal from some 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 an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects. 

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

However, Iran has said if the remaining parties take concrete steps to shield the country from sanctions it will reverse its decisions.

NA/PA

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