By staff and agency

E3 welcomes six European countries joining INSTEX

December 1, 2019

France, Germany and the United Kingdom have issued a joint statement welcoming a decision by Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to join the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).

“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,” read the statement published by website of the UK Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

It added, “This step further strengthens INSTEX and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran and is a clear expression of our continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

The statement also noted that full and effective implementation of the JCPOA is of the utmost importance. 

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

In a tweet on Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian welcomed the move.

He said that the six European countries made an important decision to join INSTEX.

The foreign minister also said that the Europeans are strongly committed to support the nuclear deal.

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.

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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