Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Germany says talks continue with Iran on INSTEX

EU’s major powers are working intensely to operationalize the alternative payment channel INSTEX to facilitate legitimate trade with Iran, German officials said on Friday.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to the nuclear deal with Iran, and urged Tehran to continue fully implementing the agreement.

“We are working intensely to operationalize the INSTEX,” she said, referring to the mechanism set up by Germany, France and the U.K. in January, to continue trade with Iran despite sanctions imposed by the U.S.

Adebahr argued that the mechanism could not be realized yet due to the very complex nature of the problem and due to some expectations from the Iranian side.

“As you know INSTEX also needs a mirror structure in Iran, which must be realized by the Iranian side,” she added.

Adebahr underlined that both structures should ensure international standards with regards to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

“We continue our talks with the Iranian side on this,” she said.

In March, a group of Iranian state and private banks registered a mirror company named as Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI) to match INSTEX.

The delay in the operationalization of the alternative payment channel has led to sharp criticism of Iran, with Tehran announcing on Wednesday that it may abandon parts of the nuclear deal because of unfulfilled promises.

World powers had agreed in 2015 to lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to peaceful and civilian purposes.

The agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed between Iran and Russia, China, France, the U.K., and the U.S., plus Germany.

Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal and intensified pressure on Tehran by re-imposing sanctions targeting the country’s energy and banking sectors.

Anadolu Agency

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