Iran’s foreign minister has criticised the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal for delaying the enforcement of a non-dollar payment channel, known as INSTEX, aimed at facilitating trade with Tehran under the US sanctions.
Zarif said after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the accord Europeans in April 2018 set forth a number of commitments that needed to be met through launching the financial mechanism known as INSTEX.
The Europeans no longer have any excuses for delaying the enforcement of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange, he added.
The UK, France and Germany unveiled INSTEX in late January, to protect their companies against US sanctions, and enable them to continue trade with Iran. Following its withdrawal from the Iran deal last year, Washington threatened to put sanctions on any company doing business with Tehran.
“The Europeans are very far behind the schedule and they should not think the Islamic Republic of Iran keeps waiting for them. We have very good relations with our neighbours, and we have launched similar mechanisms with many countries that are currently active, and I do not know how much time Europeans need to launch a preparatory mechanism,” he reiterated.
The foreign minister further mentioned that to set up this mechanism, it was needed to launch a corresponding mechanism in Iran. This mechanism was launched last week and now Europeans have no excuse to delay its inauguration.
Regarding Washington’s labeling of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity, the Iranian top diplomat said the first retaliatory move was that the Supreme National Security Council issued a statement and branded the US forces in West Asia, known CENTCOM, as a terrorist group and introduced the US as a state sponsor of terrorism.
He further pointed out that Iran’s foreign ministry and parliament are holding negotiations about other moves.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif slammed the US attempts to block international humanitarian aid from entering flood-hit regions of Iran. “We have collected documents indicating that banks, even the European banks, are refraining from accepting foreign aid from Iranians and other people who are willing to help fold-stricken people, and that’s because of concerns over US measures.”
Zarif finally maintained these documents will be released shortly.
The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) established in January 2019 by France, Germany and the United Kingdom to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran. The SPV is headquartered in Paris, France, and is headed by German diplomat Per Fischer, who formerly served as Head of Financial Institutions at Commerzbank.