EghtesadOnline: European companies exported medical supplies to Iran as part of a mechanism set up to circumvent US sanctions.
The two sides have struggled over the past year to establish the barter system, known formally as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), Financial Tribune reported.
Europe and Iran completed their first transaction under a complicated barter system set up to dodge US sanctions, Deutsche Welle reported.
Germany's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that creation of the INSTEX mechanism enables the export of medical devices from Europe.
The ministry — speaking on behalf of Germany, France and the UK — said the mechanism would allow many other transactions to proceed.
“France, Germany and the UK confirm that INSTEX has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran. INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism,” the ministry tweeted.
The system was devised more than a year ago after Washington reimposed biting sanctions on Iran's oil industry after Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s landmark 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers.
European firms had no option but to cease trading with Iran and cancel joint venture projects fearing US penalties.
Limited Trade Ties
INSTEX aims to at least partially maintain trade with Iran and thereby save the nuclear agreement.
Transactions can now be carried out via INSTEX, a protective shield that ensures that no money directly changes hands.
Under the nuclear agreement with the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, Iran committed in 2015 to redesign its nuclear program so that it could not build a nuclear weapon. In return, many sanctions were lifted and trade with Tehran was promoted.
Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and a year later, Iran began to gradually move away from its obligations under the historic agreement.
Tehran's struggle to bring the virus' spread under control has been made more difficult by the US sanctions. The number of cases in the country passed 53,000, while almost 3,300 people have died. The government in Tehran has warned that the epidemic could run for several more months.