Home UK & Europe Europe EU signatories to launch INSTEX to facilitate Non-Dollar Trade with Iran

EU signatories to launch INSTEX to facilitate Non-Dollar Trade with Iran

In a joint-press conference with the Iranian Foreign Minister, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass assured that EU signatories are willing to uphold 2015 JCPOA and will soon launch INSTEX to facilitate trade with Iran. However, Tehran seems unconvinced that such a system will materialize anytime soon.

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AFP |

Germany, in collaboration with Britain and France, announced on Monday that a European payment system to assist Iran in benefiting from non-dollar trade and bypass Washington’s sanctions to uplift Tehran’s economy will soon be implemented reported Al Jazeera.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Mass visited Tehran to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and engage with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as part of the measures taken by the European Union-members to reinstate the groundbreaking JCPOA nuclear agreement and bring an end to the ongoing US-Iran scuffle.

Abbas Mousavi, spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry asserted, “The EU is not in a position to question Iran’s issues beyond the nuclear deal.”

Addressing a press conference with the German Foreign Minister, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif stated that Tehran and Berlin had “frank and serious” talks about rescuing the 2015 nuclear deal. Zarif said, “Tehran will cooperate with EU signatories of the deal to save it.”

Iran Press cited Zarif’s remarks, “Iran and EU both want to save JCPOA, they try to stop tensions and conflicts in the region, and both sides wanted Iranian people to be satisfied with the benefits of the agreement.” He added, “By withdrawing from JCPOA, the US wanted to target Iranian people. The people who were supposed to have huge benefits from the agreement.”

Read more: Iran plans on disregarding nuclear deal, European powers trying to mediate

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass explained that the payment system, termed as Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) has been under construction for months, and will soon be ready for operation.

Explaining the challenges of installing a new payment system from scratch, Mass added, “This is an instrument of a new kind so it’s not straightforward to operationalize it.

Explaining the challenges of installing a new payment system from scratch, Mass added, “This is an instrument of a new kind so it’s not straightforward to operationalize it. But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I’m assuming we’ll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future.”

Read more: US demands Europe isolate Iran as Israelis, Arabs unite

EU Signatories Support JCPOA

President Donald Trump’s administration has heightened tensions between Iran and the US after Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, followed by raised sanctions that threaten to cripple Iran’s economy.

Tehran, who is committed to uphold the terms of the 2015 nuclear pact, accused the signatories of the European Union for failing to rescue the progress achieved by the JCPOA after Trump ushered in Washington’s withdrawal.

German Foreign Minister Mass said, “There is a serious situation in the region. An escalation of tension is becoming uncontrollable and military action wouldn’t be in line with the interests of any party.” He added, “Germany, France, and Britain call for supporting the deal and we are fulfilling our commitments. We are doing our utmost to prevent the failure of the deal.”

Referring to German Foreign Minister Mass’s declaration of opposition for Iran’s missile program, Mousavi said, “Tehran will not discuss any issue beyond the nuclear deal.”

The three European Union signatories have extended their support for the 2015 nuclear pact, agreeing that the most suitable way to restrict increases in Iran’s uranium supplies, which is instrumental for the development of nuclear weapons, and ensuring Iran remains committed to the terms of the deal.

During his weekend-long trip to Iraq and Iran, German Foreign Minister Mass warned that any conflict between US and Iran is a threat to the entire Middle Eastern region, stressing that the Europeans firmly believe that supporting the nuclear pact with Iran is instrumental.

Read more: Iran, India move closer on trade as EU stalls

EU can’t Question Iran’s Nuclear Program

Abbas Mousavi, spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, asserted that Tehran will only return to the negotiation table when Washington puts an end to its crusade of “economic terrorism” against Iran.

Mousavi was cited by Al Jazeera as saying, “We will think about the rhetoric and words when they are accompanied with actions and change of attitude. The best example would be a decrease in pain and suffering of the Iranian people caused by the illegal and targeted pressure by the US government against the Iranian nation.”

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson also condemned the lack of commitment on part of the European signatories of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPAO) after US President Donald Trump walked out of the monumental nuclear deal and slammed Iran with sweeping sanctions.

“So far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran’s interests”, said Mousavi as reported by Iran Press. Referring to German Foreign Minister Mass’s declaration of opposition for Iran’s missile program, Mousavi said, “Tehran will not discuss any issue beyond the nuclear deal.”

Read more: EU to consider sanctions on Iran for failed attack plots

He said, “We no longer have any hope to see the INSTEX [Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges] in action”, and noted that “if the mechanism was ever going to work, it would have done so by now”. Mousavi stressed that Tehran expects the European signatories to fulfil their obligations to uphold the JCPOA, but added that “they either were not able to, or did not want to do so.”

Mousavi clarified, “We have not seen any practical move by the Europeans in the past days since the 60-day ultimatum, and we hope that they will take effective actions in the remaining days. Abbas Mousavi, spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry asserted, “The EU is not in a position to question Iran’s issues beyond the nuclear deal.”

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