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EghtesadOnline: The newly appointed German head of Iran-EU trade mechanism, known as Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX), was in Tehran to discuss issues of mutual interest.

On the first day of the visit on Sunday, Michael Bock toured the German-Iran Chamber of Industry and Commerce and conferred with the head of chamber and representatives of German and Iranian companies, according to the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s news outlet. 

Businessmen in the meeting discussed concerns regarding trade hurdles, namely banking issues. 

Bock was slated to call on the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnasser Hemmati, and head of Iran’s Special Trade and Finance Instrument (STFI), the mirror entity created to interact with INSTEX, according to Financial Tribune.

A specialist in international law and a former German ambassador to Colombia, Egypt and Sweden, Bock took office earlier in September to succeed his compatriot, Bernd Erbel. 

INSTEX was set up last January as part of a broader effort by Germany, France and Britain — the so-called E3 — to preserve the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran after the US abandoned the deal last year. 

Two months after the creation of INSTEX, Iran set up a corresponding financial mechanism comprising state-owned and private banks.    

The Europeans say establishing INSTEX is imperative to keep Iran abiding by the nuclear deal after the United States walked away in May 2018.  

The Paris-based organization aims to enable companies in Iran and Europe maintain trade in defiance of the unilateral US  sanctions, by offering a payment channel that is not subject to US penalties. 

The mechanism obviates the need for the international paying systems like SWIFT to carry out exchanges. 

Under mounting pressure from Washington, SWIFT decided to remove Iranian banks from its network last November.

Caption: Michael Bock met Dagmar von Bohnstein, Managing Director of German-Iran Chamber of Industry and Commerce, on Sunday in Tehran.


Iran Tehran President INSTEX Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange head German Iran EU trade mechanism