U.S. unleashes rage as new NATO members join INSTEX

December 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Washington feels angry as some new European nations member to NATO have decided to trade with Iran via 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.

Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway are among NATO members.

U.S. envoy to Germany Richard Allen Grenell, in a tweet on Saturday night, criticized the six European nations for deciding to join the financial mechanism.

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).

According to the Guardian, Paris, London and Berlin on Saturday welcomed the six new European countries to the INSTEX barter mechanism.

“As founding shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex), France, Germany and the United Kingdom warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, to join INSTEX as shareholders,” the three said in a joint statement.

The addition of the six new members “further strengthens INSTEX and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran,” the joint statement said.

MJ/PA

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