France welcomes six European countries’ decision to join INSTEX

November 30, 2019 - 20:8

TEHRAN – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has welcomed six European countries’ decision to join the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden issued a joint statement on Friday announcing becoming shareholders of INSTEX.

In a tweet on Friday, Le Drian said that the six European countries made an important decision to join INSTEX.

He also said that the Europeans are strongly committed to support the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The statement issued by the six European countries says, “In light of the continuous European support for the agreement and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) subject to completion of national procedures. INSTEX was established by France, Germany and the United Kingdom in January 2019.”

It added, “The nuclear agreement was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council and is as a key instrument for the global non-proliferation regime and a major contribution to stability in the region.”

INSTEX 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 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.

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).

NA/PA

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