Iranian official deplores EU’s delay in fully implementing INSTEX

Tasnim – The financial channel that the three European parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have established to maintain trade with Iran has not borne any noteworthy fruit so far, head of an Iranian company serving as an equivalent organization for links with INSTEX said.

In comments on Saturday, Ali Asghar Noori, CEO of the Iranian company ‘Special Mechanism for Iran-Europe Trade and Financing’ (known as SATMA in Persian), said the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) established in January by France, Germany and the UK to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran, has been ineffective so far.

While Iran has set up SATMA as a corresponding company to facilitate interaction with INSTEX, the Europeans have failed to introduce a bank for making a connection between the buyers and sellers of the two sides, Noori deplored.

Although the necessary consultations have been made, the European parties have not formally selected any bank for trade with Iran, he added.

The CEO of SATMA stressed that INSTEX needs to provide Iran with its petrodollars, adding that the European parties must purchase Iran’s oil, wire the money into the account of the Iranian equivalent company, and allow Tehran to use those finances for imports.

He also explained that even if the European countries cannot buy Iran’s oil, then they should set up a credit line for Iran, provide the Islamic Republic with financial credits, and receive the installments after the sale of Iranian oil.

Noori dismissed any official plan for Russia and China to join INSTEX, saying the payment channel, as a trade company, is founded by only three shareholders, namely France, the UK and Germany.

Any new country intending to join the INSTEX will have to abide by the French trade regulations, he went on to say.

INSTEX is a payment channel that France, Germany and Britain – the three European signatories to the JCPOA – have devised to continue trade with Tehran and bypass the US embargoes.

The European payment channel, however, has not brought about any change in Iran’s foreign trade.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, a 159-page nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) came into force in January 2016.

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

However, the EU’s failure to ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments under JCPOA on May 8, 2019.

Iran has also set a 60-day deadline for the remaining JCPOA parties to fulfill their undertakings.