Publish date10 Feb 2019 - 23:51
Story Code : 401617

INSTEX: A US-Europe game to get concessions from

The Asr-e-Iranian daily has interviewed a number of Iranian lawmakers to shed light on the negative sides of the European-designed Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX). Here is a rough reproduction of the piece recently published by the Persian-language newspaper.
INSTEX: A US-Europe game to get concessions from
Following months of foot-dragging, France, Germany, and Britain finally unveiled a promised financial mechanism that was supposed to pave the way for Europe to both deliver on its own commitments under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and compensate for America’s withdrawal from the agreement, named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
However, the joint statement that formally announced the launch of INSTEX showed the Europeans are not only not seeking to hold up their end of the bargain but are also after making even more demands on Tehran, including urging it to join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as a condition for activating INSTEX.‘A mere PR show’

Speaking to Asr-e-Iranian, lawmaker Mohammad Javad Koulivand said INSTEX “cannot be counted as a significant success because the mechanism is restricted to the trading of food and medicine, whereas such goods are not the target of the US’s secondary sanctions, which the Europeans are afraid of; therefore, nothing special has practically happened.” The Europeans, he said, are more seeking to circumvent Iran than standing up to the United States.

“Unveiling INSTEX was a mere PR show meant to deceive Iran and will definitely bring no benefit to the country. The Europeans are only trying to pressure Iran into meeting their excessive demands. Urging Iran to join the FATF in return for nothing means Europe is seeking to fish in troubled waters” following Washington’s exit from the JCPOA, Koulivand said. “Using a mere barter trade mechanism as a tool to get Tehran to approve the FATF’s conventions is totally politically motivated and technically amounts to blackmailing Iran. The country’s diplomatic apparatus should take a stand against this blackmailing and defend Iran’s rights in the best way possible.”

‘Meddling in Iran’s internal affairs’
Europe’s excessive demands have even sparked criticism from the supporters of an FATF-related bill in the Iranian Parliament. Ali Motahari, a member of the Parliament’s presiding board, welcomed the launch of INSTEX as a “positive” step that signals Europe’s resolve to keep the nuclear deal alive, but said the mechanism can be best judged when it becomes operational.

Motahari, however, added that Europe’s reported attempt to link INSTEX to the FATF is considered as a sort of “interference in Iran’s domestic affairs,” and that the Foreign Ministry must react appropriately. “The two issues must not be tied together. This mechanism would benefit Europe in its bid to protect its independence against America and break the dominance of the US dollar,” the senior MP added.

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