EghtesadOnline: Ambassadors from France, Germany and the UK to Iran released a joint statement on Friday underscoring the commitments of their governments to launch the first transaction soon with Iran using the much-touted EU financial mechanism.
The statement, published on the official website of the UK government, comes a week after Germany’s foreign minister and the president of the EU trade mechanism, known as the Instrument in Support of the Trade Exchange (INSTEX) visited Tehran to reassure Iranians about EU commitments the nuclear pact signed in 2015 between Iran and the six world powers.
In the May of last year the US unilaterally withdrew from the historic deal and imposed new sanctions on Iran’s economy.
“The British, French and German ambassadors to Iran welcomed representatives from INSTEX and the E3 technical experts to Tehran this week for discussions with the relevant Iranian experts and counterparts. These discussions have helped to advance our collective efforts to ensure trade with Iran that is compliant with EU and international law can continue, including through the special purpose vehicle “INSTEX,” the statement read, according to Financial Tribune.
“We understand the economic pressure the Iranian people are facing. We are committed to working with Iran to deliver INSTEX’s first transaction as quickly as possible”.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom (E3), party to the Iran nuclear deal, announced in February the creation of a special financial mechanism for non-dollar trade with Iran.
INSTEX, is registered in France and headed by German banker Per Fischer, a former Commerzbank director.
The E3 underlined EU efforts to maintain legitimate trade with Iran and facilitate economic relations.
Best Way Forward
“Expert exchanges of this nature are the best way to move us closer towards delivering on our shared goal to facilitate legitimate trade and economic relations with Iran. In light of the above, both sides have agreed a roadmap to expedite progress” the statement said.
The British Ambassador Rob Macaire hailed this week talks, saying that they are important in making progress in INSTEX. “Useful visit by UK, French, German, and EU experts. To make progress on INSTEX, technical talks such as these are important,” he wrote in a twitter post Thursday.
European officials say establishing INSTEX is imperative to keep Iran abiding by the nuclear deal.
During his visit to Iran earlier this week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said INSTEX will be operational soon but did not give a timeline.
He tried to address criticism from Iranian authorities and businesses over the prolonged delays in launching the trade mechanism.
“This is an instrument of a new kind, so it’s not straightforward to operationalize it,” said Maas, referring to the complexity of installation of a new payments system.
“But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I’m assuming we’ll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future,” the German minister added.
Maas met President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif as part of a concerted European effort to preserve the nuclear agreement and defuse rising US-Iran tensions.