Diplomat hopes INSTEX would be implemented as six more countries join in

November 30, 2019 - 20:9

TEHRAN - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi said on Saturday that he hopes the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) would become operational as six more European countries join the financial mechanism.

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

In an interview with IRNA correspondent in Beijing on Saturday, Araghchi said the European countries’ action in joining INSTEX is “valuable”.

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 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.

It 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.

“The fact that the European countries are serious about having INSTEX as a business mechanism to keep economic relations with Iran and finding a way in order for Iran to have economic interaction with Europeans despite the United States’ sanctions is very valuable,” said Araqchi.

Araqchi served as a senior negotiator in crafting the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, with the other parties, which includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, Russia, Britain, France, and the U.S.) Germany and the European Union. However, the U.S., under President Donald Trump, abandoned the deal and reinstituted sanctions on Iran. 

“I believe even in state of sanctions, INSTEX can cover almost 20 percent of Iran’s economic relations,” Araqchi stated. 

Araghchi said on November 11 that INSTEX has not been yet fully implemented.

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

NA/PA

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