Ex-envoy criticizes Europe for failing to protect ties with Iran

May 6, 2019 - 20:57

TEHRAN – Abdolreza Faraji-Rad, Iran’s former ambassador to Norway, has criticized European countries for failing to fully fulfil their obligations with regard to protecting their trade ties with Iran, Mehr reported on Monday.

“A few months ago, Europe announced the formation of INSTEX and Iran also formed a trade mechanism to match INSTEX,” however in spite of these efforts, big European companies cannot still cooperate with Iran, he said.

Even small and medium companies have been unwilling to establish ties with Iran because of their fears of U.S. sanctions, Faraji-Rad lamented.

“This is a reality that Europe should accept and perhaps it is a price that they have to pay in order to implement INSTEX,” he stated, pointing to U.S. pressures.

INSTEX is a special purpose trade mechanism which was created in January 2019 by France, Germany and Britain – three parties to the 2015 nuclear deal - to facilitate legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran.

On March 20, Iran’s central bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati announced that a mechanism similar to INSTEX has been registered in Iran.

The mechanism, called the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI), was introduced after technical and expert negotiations between Iranian delegations and representatives from the three European countries.

STFI has been devised to work in tandem with INSTEX for trade and financial ties between Iran and the European Union.