No transaction has been done through INSTEX: Iranian diplomat

March 4, 2020 - 18:57

TEHRAN – Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali said on Tuesday that no transaction has been done through the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).

“The Europeans created the INSTEX, however, no transaction has been done within the framework of this mechanism up to this moment,” he said during a meeting with Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev.

Jalali also called for expansion of Tehran-Moscow ties in various spheres.

For his part, Kosachev attached importance to expansion of relations.

The two sides also held talks over the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA.

INSTEX has been designed by the European Union to facilitate legitimate trade with Tehran. It was introduced on January 31, 2019, by France, Germany, and Britain, the three countries party to the nuclear deal.

INSTEX was supposed to be a financial channel and a special mechanism for transferring money in spite of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Its objective was to facilitate Iran's transactions with European companies.

In late November 2019, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden issued a joint statement announcing becoming shareholders of INSTEX.

“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,” read the statement, published by the Foreign Ministry of Finland.

Iran has likened INSTEX to a beautiful car that has no gasoline.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on February 23 that the INSTEX is ineffective and useless.

Matthew Anthony Evangelista, a U.S political science professor at Cornel University, has said that the Europeans have been “slow” in implementing the INSTEX.

“The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges was a European initiative to facilitate trade with Iran despite U.S. sanctions that particularly affected the banking sector.  But the Europeans were slow in getting the process going, and they met fierce opposition from the United States, so INSTEX was only established in January 2019,” ILNA quoted him as saying in an interview published on Tuesday.

“I think it is difficult for the Europeans to continue trying to support Iran,” he added.

He also noted, “The situation does not seem fair to Iran.”

On May 8, 2019, exactly one year after President Trump abrogated the JCPOA, Iran said its “strategic patience” is over and started to gradually reduce its commitment to the JCPOA at bi-monthly interval. Finally, on January 5 Iran took the last and final step in reducing its commitments to the JCPOA.

However, Iran has insisted that it will reverse its decisions if the EU abides by its obligations under the multilateral pact.

NA/PA

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