Iran says INSTEX has not been fully implemented

November 11, 2019

TEHRAN - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi has said that INSTEX has not been yet fully implemented.

INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) has been designed by the European Union to facilitate legitimate trade with Tehran. It was introduced on January 31 by France, Germany and Britain, the three countries party to the 2015 nuclear deal.

It was introduced long after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran and threatened to punish any country or company that does business with Iran.
 
“This financial system was suggested too late and [it] operates at a low level. It has not been yet fully implemented,” Sputnik quoted Araghchi as saying on Monday.

He also said that this system “will be successful if the Europeans buy oil from Iran, as Iran’s main export to Europe is oil. If not, there will not be a large amount of money left for trade in accordance with this tool.”

INSTEX is supposed to be a financial channel and a special mechanism for transferring money in spite of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Its objective is to facilitate Iran's transactions with European companies.

On March 20, Iran’s central bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati announced that a mechanism similar to INSTEX has been registered in Iran, officially called the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI).

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the INSTEX mechanism still remained on paper.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a senior advisor to the Iranian Parliament speaker, said on Saturday that INSTEX lacks locomotive engine to start working.

“There is no hope for the implementation of the JCPOA by the Europeans. In fact, the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany have agreed on the partitioning mission of weakening the Islamic Republic. INSTEX lacks locomotive engine too,” Amir Abdollahian wrote on his Twitter account.

During a meeting with a group of Austrian MPs in Tehran on April 29, Araghchi criticized European delay in implementing its special mechanism to save the JCPOA.

Speaking at the 9th round of Iran-Norway political consultations on April 30, Araghchi said the international community has not responded properly to the U.S. illegal act in withdrawing from the JCPOA.

“The U.S. proved that it does not understand the language of respect and interaction and can just talk with the language of bullying,” he said.

‘Neighbors studying Hormuz peace initiative’

Araghchi also said that the neighboring countries are studying President Hassan Rouhani’s “Coalition for Hope”.

“This initiative is being studied by regional countries and other related international bodies. Hassan Rouhani’s message has been sent to all the Persian Gulf littoral states,” ISNA quoted him as saying in an interview with Sputnik.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on November 2 that Iran is serious about providing security in the Persian Gulf region and confirmed that Rouhani’s letter about the Hormuz peace plan has been sent to heads of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and Iraq.

“Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of our country, will send a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations in this respect as well,” he said.

At the United Nations’ summit in New York in late September, Iran officially unveiled a proposal for regional security, officially called the Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE).

“Based upon the historical responsibility of my country in maintaining security, peace, stability and progress in the Persian Gulf region and Strait of Hormuz, I would like to invite all the countries directly affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the ‘Coalition for Hope’, meaning Hormuz Peace Endeavor,” President Hassan Rouhani told the UN delegates.

Foreign Minister Zarif has invited all regional states to join Iran’s initiative for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

In a tweet in September, Zarif said the initiative entails “dialogue, confidence-building, freedom of navigation, energy security, non-aggression, and non-intervention”.

In a post on his Twitter account on October 15, Zarif renewed Iran’s call to all countries bordering the Persian Gulf to join Tehran’s initiative to “forge a blueprint for peace, security, stability, and prosperity” in the region.

NA/PA

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