Europe sends medical supplies to Iran in first INSTEX transaction: Germany
Germany says the three European signatories to the 2015 Iran deal have registered the first transaction under a trade system set up last year to protect companies doing business with Iran from US sanctions, delivering medical supplies to the Islamic Republic amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Press TV, on Tuesday, Berlin’s Foreign Ministry said Germany, France and Britain “confirm that INSTEX (trade system) has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran.”
“These goods are now in Iran,” it said in a statement, giving no further details.
The German Foreign Ministry added that Berlin hopes to enhance the mechanism and carry out more transaction with Tehran.
“Now the first transaction is complete, INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI (Special Trade and Finance Instrument) will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism,” the German Foreign Ministry said.
Iranian authorities have not commented on the news so far.
The transaction comes over a year after the European trio announced the creation of INSTEX — a non-dollar direct payment channel officially called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges — in an effort to keep Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers alive.
The apparatus was designed to circumvent the sanctions that the United States re-imposed against Iran after leaving a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, the trio, plus Russia and China.
However, the Europeans have not been able to operationalize the non-dollar trade mechanism under pressure from the US.
The system was launched after Iran complained about the European countries failing to maintain trade with the country as mandated under the nuclear deal, and bowing instead to Washington’s pressure.
In May, Iran initiated a set of countermeasures against Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and following the European partners’ failure to guarantee Tehran’s business interests under the agreement.
Iran had accepted the nuclear limits voluntarily as part of the deal, despite not being obligated by the UN nuclear agency to commit to any such restrictions.
Tehran has vowed to reverse all its nuclear activities as soon as the other JCPOA signatories begin fully implementing their obligations.