US threat not to affect Iran-Germany trade ties

IRNA – The co-chair of Iran-Germany Chamber of Commerce Michael Tockuss described trade ties between Iran and Germany as long-lasting saying US threats cannot affect two countries’ ties.

“On the one hand we have the public reaction from public media which of course orchestrate this threat from the United States and on the other hand we have the long-lasting trade relationship between many medium-sized German companies and Iran,” Tockuss told IRNA.

He added “This volume could increase but therefore we need more support from our government and from the Iranian government.”

Elaborating on the impact of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) on Iran-Germany trade, he said “INSTEX is something that we should not undervalue. INSTEX is a very strong political signal and the fact that the European countries act in clear opposition toward the efforts of the United States is a value itself.”

“Practically INSTEX is just on the way. I know that people are working intensively to get it on stream but it has practical impact at the moment,” he noted.

Commenting on the influence of US behavior on implementation of INSTEX, Tockuss said “at the moment I don’t see any reaction from the European governments regarding the INSTEX.”

He went on to say that “INSTEX now is a totally new instrument for the European countries and they have to develop it and I know that the key people in INSTEX are working on it but I don’t see that now these efforts of the United States will affect INSTEX because this is not related to it.”

“We have a lot of companies that ask for INSTEX and that want to start it immediately, he said adding “now we are in close contact with the Iranian banks in Hamburg.”

“German companies are more than 130 years active in Iran and they will safeguard and survive with the trade with Iran in this critical situation and of course what we have to keep up with Iran this means joint venture and investment of European companies,” German official noted.

On May 8, 2018, Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, which was condemned by other parties to the 2015 agreement.

INSTEX was adopted by foreign ministers of the European trio on the sidelines of a European Union summit in the Romanian capital Bucharest on January 1.

INSTEX has been registered at the address of France’s Economy and Finance Ministry in Paris. German banker Per Fischer has been chosen for a period of six months to run it. Also, a senior UK diplomat is expected to head the Supervisory Board.

Earlier, INSTEX president Per Fischer visited Iran to hold talks with Iranian stakeholders in a bid to work out details of the payment channel.

Trump’s choice has faced opposition of the international community; namely Russia, China, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.

For much of the interview, Tockuss referred to US recent decision to end waivers on Iran oil exports, saying “We see this announcement very critical because it is again the action of the United States which is not coordinated with anyone and which is not backed by any international body.”

“The countries that bought Iranian crude oil in the past will now stop to import it because this is not just the question of buying oil, it is a technical question of the refineries adjusted to Iranian oil,” he said adding “they try to put pressure on Iran with the risk that Iran might have to react on this.”

He reiterated “it is not that easy that is shown in the media that simply Saudi Arabia can increase the output but it shows that the United States is bullying against Iran.”

Despite the fact that Washington had claimed to zero Iran oil exports, the US agreed to let eight countries, including China, Japan, India and South Korea, Taiwan, Italy and Greece keep buying Iranian oil after it reimposed sanctions on the OPEC producer on Nov. 5.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo once again in a unilateral and hostile act on Monday declared anti-Iran measure to lift sanctions waivers on buyers of Iran oil.

According to Western media, Pompeo claimed that the US had gained assurances from oil producers – namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE – to ensure a sufficient supply to minimize impact on pricing.

He added that sanctions waiver permission will be expired on May 1 and as a result this decision will be implemented on May 2 meaning that no permission will exist to extend these waivers.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said “Well we said very clearly that we will continue to sell our oil and we will continue to survive and our people will show to the United States that they cannot deal with Iran through pressure.”