Apr 01, 2020 06:17 UTC

The UK, Germany and France have circumvented US-led sanctions imposed on Iran to send it medical equipment. The trio used a special purpose vehicle called INSTEX to achieve this.

In May 2018 US President Donald Trump unceremoniously withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal known as the JCPOA, and reinstated old and new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Since then the other signatories to the nuclear deal say they have been trying to salvage it but although INSTEX, the special purpose vehicle set up to do so was supposed to be a major breakthrough, it has only just been used for the first time since it was set up in January 2019.

"France, Germany and the United Kingdom confirm that INSTEX has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran. These goods are now in Iran."

Nine US legislators have signed a letter urging Trump to suspend the sanctions in the wake of the pandemic. The campaign has not swayed Trump's resolve when it comes to crippling Iran though.

The European Union’s image as an independent entity that can stand up to the US when it needs to, has been called into question since the JCPOA was derailed.