TEHRAN (Iran News) – Chairman of British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Lord Norman Lamont on Tuesday welcomed the first transaction between Iran and Europe via the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX) and called for the continued use of the mechanism and developing it.
“This is excellent news. It has been a bumpy road and taken time. But I hope this is only the beginning, and that we will see more such transactions,” he told IRNA late on Tuesday.
A European payment system set up by Germany, France, and the UK in January 2019 for trade with Iran, INSTEX has been designed to circumvent US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
On Tuesday, the German Federal Foreign Office confirmed that the first transactions between Europe and Iran has successfully been concluded through the INSTEX.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday, it announced, “France, Germany and the United Kingdom confirm that INSTEX has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran. INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism.”
An Iranian structure parallel to INSTEX, the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI) was launched in March 2019, by a group of the Iranian state and private banks to match the European mechanism.
In addition, Miguel Berger, the director-general for economic affairs and sustainable development at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, said in a tweet on Tuesday that his country is seeking to facilitate trade with Iran and preserve the JCPOA.
He made the remarks after the first financial transaction between Iran and Europe via the INSTEX was done.
Berger maintained that this is a major step to support Iranian people by providing medical equipment.
INSTEX ensures the highest standards of adherence to the deal, he said.
Meanwhile, Former EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in her Twitter account welcomed the first transaction via INSTEX, saying that Germany, France, and Britain have done the first transaction successfully and facilitated exports of medical equipment from EU to Iran.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions have hindered, among many other things, the delivery of international humanitarian aid, drugs, and medical equipment to Iran, particularly, now that the country is fighting against the coronavirus.
By setting up the INSTEX payment mechanism, the three European states aimed to safeguard Iran’s interests within the framework of the JCPOA and, thus, preserve the deal, a goal they have, in practice, failed to achieve so far.
Over the past two years, Iran has repeatedly criticized Europe for failing to honor its pledges under the JCPOA and retaliated by scaling back from its own commitments under the deal.
Tehran has, however, vowed to reverse all its nuclear responses as soon as the other JCPOA signatories begin fully implementing their nuclear obligations, describing the INSTEX as just a prelude to the implementation of Europe’s 11-fold commitments under the JCPOA.
US officials have repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction with the mechanism, calling on European states to refrain from joining it. Defying US anger at the system, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden joined it in late 2019.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews