By Javad Heirannia

INSTEX has a limited scope: Finaud

October 14, 2019

TEHRAN - Marc Finaud, the former French Foreign Ministry spokesman, says that the INSTEX mechanism is operational but has a limited scope.

A senior member of Geneva Centre for Security Policy also says that “Regarding U.S. sanctions in other areas, European companies may be deterred by the impact of secondary sanctions and will most likely not sacrifice their interests on the American market if they have less stakes in Iran. Unfortunately, the EU can offer some legal protection, but the ultimate decisions will be made by the companies.”

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that the United States and Iran have only one month to implement the Paris plan to keep JCPOA alive. Is France in a position to warn against keeping things that the Europeans themselves failed to fulfill?

A: It is always difficult and it takes time to convince all the EU member states but since there is so far no alternative to the French proposals for mediation to salvage the JCPOA, it is likely that the French initiative will be supported by the EU.

Q: Does this warning mean a defeat in French diplomatic efforts to mediate between Iran and the United States?

A: French efforts are continuing, so it may be premature to call them a defeat. But the opposition from the United States does make such efforts a hard challenge.

Q: Iran has announced that by early November it will take new measures to reduce its obligations in JCPOA. Why doesn't Europe make a serious effort to preserve the JCPOA and just announce daily that the country has joined INSTEX but nothing actually happens?

A: The INSTEX mechanism was always considered as a limited step to facilitate trade in humanitarian goods. The EU and its member states until now have complied with all their commitments in the JCPOA and regret the resumption of U.S. sanctions that also affect their companies wishing to trade with Iran.

Q: Do you think that the INSTEX mechanism will be operational in light of U.S. warnings about sanctions on the companies that work with them and meet Iran's needs?

A: The INSTEX mechanism is operational but has a limited scope. Regarding U.S. sanctions in other areas, European companies may be deterred by the impact of secondary sanctions and will most likely not sacrifice their interests on the American market if they have less stakes in Iran. Unfortunately, the EU can offer some legal protection, but the ultimate decisions will be made by the companies.
 

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