By staff and agency

China welcomes six European states joining INSTEX

December 4, 2019

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Tuesday that China highly commends efforts to implement the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) and welcomed six new European states for joining it.

“INSTEX marks an important effort on the European side to safeguard the JCPOA [the 2015 nuclear deal]. It reflects a determination to uphold multilateralism and the international order based on international law. China highly commends that,” she told a press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a report on its website.

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

Hua said, “We welcome this decision made by the six countries and support efforts to move forward the INSTEX. It will help promote cooperation between Europe and Iran and ensure the implementation of the JCPOA. We hope this mechanism will soon cover more areas and open up to non-EU countries as third parties to facilitate the normal economic and trade cooperation between Iran and the international community.”

INSTEX barter mechanism, introduced on January 31, is designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding use of the dollar. 

France, Germany and the United Kingdom issued a statement on Saturday welcoming the decision by the six countries.

“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.

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.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has also welcomed decision by the six new European states.

INSTEX 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).

However, the mechanism is not operational yet and the Europeans have said it is for trade of humanitarian goods.

NA/PA

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