Iranian officials slam EU over linking INSTEX to FATF

February 4, The Iran Project – Several top Iran’s officials lambasted Europeans over setting conditions for implementing the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) and linking it to FATF, dismissing it as a new plot to pressure Iran.

The European parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), issued a joint statement on Thursday (Jan. 31), announcing the launch of a long-awaited direct non-dollar payment mechanism meant to facilitate their trade ties with Tehran in the face of the sanctions.

But the European countries have reportedly set two conditions for the declared mechanism. The first condition is that Iran should join the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) and the other is that the country should enter the negotiations on its missile program.

Iranian Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani as well as some country’s lawmakers including Ali Adiani, Yaqoub Shivyari and parliament’s Vice-Speaker Ali Motahhari are among those strongly decried the conditions.

Addressing a meeting with high-ranking judicial officials, Amoli Larijani said, “After 9 months of procrastination and negotiation, Europeans have created a mechanism with limited capacity, not for exchanging money but for food and medicine.”

Pointing to the reported conditions, he noted that the countries should be aware that Iran will by no means accept these humiliating conditions and will not accede to any demand at the expense of opening a small waterway such as INSTEX.

In relevant remarks, a key member of Iran’s Expediency Council stressed that the EC would continue discussions over the fate of the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo) without being influenced by Europeans’ request for the approval of the convention as a prerequisite for the operation of the INSTEX.

Meanwhile, Ali Adiani ashed out at the European states for setting conditions for implementation of the INSTEX and described it as a violation of the nuclear deal and interference in the country’s internal affairs.

Addressing an open session of the parliament, Yaqoub Shivyari said that the Europeans are attempting to tie up the declared mechanism for trade with Iran to the FATF to have a new tool to pressure Tehran.

He noted that Europe has made implementation of the INSTEX dependent on the final approval of the CFT and Palermo bills in Iran, and said, “If so, the INSTEX will not reduce the pressures of sanctions and it will rather turn into a new pressure tool against Iran to force it to make more concessions.”

Speaking to an open session of the parliament, Ali Motahhari underlined that Europe’s interference in his country’s internal affairs by linking the declared mechanism for trade with Iran to the FATF is not acceptable.

He described the INSTEX as a good sign of Europe’s determination to protect the 2015 nuclear deal, but meantime said that the final assessment can be made when it is implemented.

INSTEX has been registered in France and will be run by German banker and former Commerzbank manager Per Fischer. The new special purpose vehicle will have a supervisory board consisting of diplomats from all three countries: Miguel Berger of Germany, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne of France and Simon McDonald of Britain.

The European Union has vowed to counter Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.